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OF 

TFFT 

/I Jill I respectfully riped by 



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DO 


Ampn'fiia<El|af U LOPD. 



Tins Book is Dedicated to the Free, Creative 
Martial Artist 

Take w hat is useful and develop from there. 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Grateful acknowkdfem«tU in nude to the copyright owners for pcrniitafon to reprint or adapt from the 
following; Boxing, by Edwin L. Mattel, 1940, The Ronald Prcu. pp, 9344, -IT. 72,97-90. 108. 128,140-150. 
154-155, 158-1&9, 173, 178-180. Fencing , by Hugo and Jani « Cufelto. 1062. The Ronald Prra, pp. 139-140. 
144. Fencing wtib the Fa if, by Roger Ctouuci. 1951, A S Harnn and Co., pp. 132-138, 137-139, 168. 170-171, 
182-184, The Theory and Practice of Fencing, by JuJUo Martinez CaaUUo, 1933, Charlei Scribner'* Sons, pp 43. 
44. 62, 63. 125, 1 27*, 1 33-1 36. 139. 145, 168, 191. 


©1975 Linda Lee 
All fight* reserved 

Printed m the United Stiles o! Ametui 
L bury of Congress Calling Card Number 75-248Q3 

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OHARA PUBLICATIONS, incorporated. 24715 Avenue Rockefeller. P.O. Box 918, Santa Clarita. Caffomia 91380-9018 




TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Into a soul absolutely free 
From thoughts and emotion , 
Even the tiger finds no room 
To insert its fierce claws. 


One and the same breeze passes 
Over the pines on the mountain 
And the oak trees in the valley ; 




THE MARTIAL ARTS INCLUDING BOXING 

The martial ails are based upon understand- 
ing, hard work and a total comprehension of 
skills. Power training and the use of force are 
easy, but total comprehension of all of the 
skills of the martial arts is very difficult to 
achieve. To understand you must study all. of 
natural movement in all living things. Naturally, 
you can understand the martial arts of others. 

You can study the timing and the weaknesses. 

Just knowing these two dements will give you 
the capacity to knock him down rather easily. 

THE HEART OF THE MARTIAL ARTS 

IS IN UNDERSTANDING TECHNIQUES 

To understand techniquesyou must lea m 
that they contain a lot of condensed move- 
ment. This may look quite awkward. When you 
start to learn it you will find that it is awkward 
to you. That is because a good technique in- 
cludes quick changes, great variety and speed. It 
may be a system of reversals much like a con- 
cept of God and the Devil. In tire speed of 
events, which one is really in charge? Do they 
change places with lightning speed? The Chinese 
believe so. To put the heart of the martial arts 
in your own heart and have it be a part of you 
means total comprehension and the use of a free 
style. When you have that you will know that 
there are no limits. 

PRECAUTIONS ON PHYSIC AL TECHNIQUES 

Some martial arts are very popular, real crowd pleasers, because they look good, have smooth 
techniques. But beware. They are like a wine that has been watered. A diluted wine is not. a real wine, 
not a good wine, hardly the genuine article. 

Some martial arts don't look so good, but you know that they have a kick, a tang, a genuine taste. 
They are like olives. The taste may be strong and bitter-sweet. The flavor lasts. You cultivate a taste 
for them. No one ever developed a taste for diluted wine. 

ACQUIRED TALENT AND NATURAL TALENT 

Some people are bom with good physiques, a sense of speed and a lot of stamina, that’s fine. But 
in the martini arts everything you learn is an acquired skill. 

Absorbing a martial art is like the experience of Buddhism. The feeling for it comes from the 
heart. You have the dedication to get what you know you need. When it becomes part of you, you 
know you have it. You succeed at it. You may never fully understand all of it, but you keep at it. 

Ami as you progress you know the true nature of the simple way. You may join a temple or a kwooa. 
You observe nature’s simple way. You experience a life you never had before. 

Translation: David Moony Pak Sen 


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TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



INTRODUCTION 

My husband Bruce always considered himself a martial artist first and an actor 
second. At the age of 13, Bruce started lessons in the wing chun style of gung-fu for 
the purpose of self-defense. Over the next 19 years, he transformed his knowledge into 
a science, an art, a philosophy and a way of life. He trained his body through exercise 
and practice; he trained his mind through reading and reflecting and he recorded his 
thoughts and ideas constantly over the 19 years. The pages of this book represent the 
pride of a life’s work. 

In his lifelong quest for self-knowledge and personal expression, Bruce was con- 
stantly studying, analyzing and modifying all available relative information; his 
principle source was his personal library which consisted of over 2,000 books dealing 
with all forms of physical conditioning, martial arts, fighting techniques, defenses and 
related subjects. 

In 1970, Bruce sustained a rather severe injury to his back. His doctors ordered him 
to discontinue the practice of martial arts and to remain in bed to allow his back to 
heal. This was probably the most trying and dispiriting time in Bruce’s life. He stayed 
in bed, virtually flat on his back for six months, but he couldn’t keep his mind from 
working — the result of which is this book. The bulk of these writings was done at that 
time, but many scattered notes were recorded at earlier and later times. Bruce’s 
personal study notes reveal that he was particularly impressed by the writings 
of Edwin L. Haislet, Julio Martinez Castello, Hugo and James Castello and Roger 
Crosnier. Many of Bruce's own theories are directly related to those expressed by these 
writers. 

Bruce had decided to finish the book in 1971 but his film work kept him from com- 
pleting it. He also vacillated about the advisability of publishing his work because he 
felt it might be used for wrong purposes. He did not intend it to be a “how-to” book 
or a ‘Team kung-fu in 10 easy lessons” book. He intended it as a record of one man's 
way of thinking and as a guide, not a set of instructions. If you can read it in this light, 
there is much to be aware of on these pages. And, you probably will have many ques- 
tions, the answers to which you must seek within yourself. When you have finished this 
book, you will know Bruce Lee better, but hopefully you will also know yourself 
better. 

Now, open your mind and read, understand, and experience, and when you've 
reached that point, discard this book. The pages are best used for cleaning up a mess — 
as you will see, 

Linda Lee 


In the hands of a singular man, simple things carefully placed ring with an unde- 
niable harmony. Bruce's orchestration of martial arts had that quality, most apparent 
in his combat motion. Immobilized for several months with an injured back, he picked 
up a pen. There, too, he wrote as he spoke, as he moved — with directness and with 
honesty. 

Like listening to a musical composition, understanding the elements within it adds a 
specialness to the sound. For this reason, Linda Lee and I are liberalizing the introduc- 
tion of Bruce's book to explain how it came about. 

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do actually began before Bruce was born. The classical wing 
chun style that started him on his way was developed 400 years before his time. The 
2,000 or so books he owned and the countless books he read, described the individual 
‘'discoveries” of thousands of men before him. There's nothing new within this book; 
there are no secrets. “It’s nothing special,” Bruce used to say. And so it wasn't. 

Bruce's special key was knowing himself and his Own capabilities to correctly 


choose things that worked for him and to convey those things in movement and in 
language. He found in the philosophies of Confucius, Spinoza, Krishnamurti and 
others, an organization for his concepts and, with that organization, he began the book 
of his tao. 

The book when he died was only partially completed. Though it spanned seven vol- 
umes, it filled only one. Between major blocks of copy were unnumbered pages of 
unused paper, each headed by simple titles. Sometimes he wrote introspectively, asking 
questions of himself. More often he wrote to his invisible student, the reader. When he 
wrote quickly, he sacrificed his practiced grammar and when he took his time, he was 
eloquent. 

Some of the material within the volumes was written in a single setting and had the 
natural progression of a well -outlined conversation. Other areas were sudden inspira- 
tions and incomplete ideas that were quickly scribbled as they entered Bruce’s head. 
These were scattered throughout the work. In addition to the seven hardbound vol- 
umes, Bruce wrote notes throughout the development of his Jeet Kune Do and left 
them in stacks and drawers among his belongings. Some were outdated and others were 
more recent and still valuable to his book. 

With the help of his wife, Linda, I collected and scanned and thoroughly indexed all 
the material. Then, I tried to draw the scattered ideas together into cohesive blocks. 
Most of the copy was left unchanged and the drawings and sketches are his own. 

The book’s organization, however, could not have been justly done were it not for 
the patient attention of Danny Inosanto, his assistant instructors and class of senior 
students. It was they who took my eight years of martial arts training, threw it out on 
the floor and turned the theories into action with their knowledge. They have my grati- 
tude both as the editor of this book and, separately, as a martial artist. 

It should be mentioned that the Tao of Jeet Kune Do is not complete. Bruce’s art 
was changing every day. Within the Five Ways of Attack, for instance, he originally 
began with a category called hand immobilization . Later, he found that too limiting 
since immobilizations could be applied to the legs and arms and head as well. It was a 
simple observation that showed the limits of attaching labels to any concept. 

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do has no real ending. It serves, instead, as a beginning. It has 
no style; it has no level, though it’s most easily read by those who understand their 
weapons. To probably every statement within the book, there is an exception — no 
book could give a total picture of the combat arts. This is simply a work that describes 
the direction of Bruce’s studies. The investigations are left undone; the questions, some 
elementary and some complex, are left unanswered to make the student question for 
himself. Likewise, the drawings are often unexplained and may offer only vague im- 
pressions. But if they spark a question, if they raise an idea, they serve a purpose. 

Hopefully, this book will be used as a source of ideas for all martial artists, ideas 
that should then develop further. Inevitably and regrettably, the book may also cause a 
rash of “Jeet Kune Do” schools, headed by people who know the reputation of the 
name and very little about the movement. Beware of such schools! If their instructors 
missed the last, most important line, chances are they failed to understand the book at 
all. 

Even the organization of the book means nothing. There are no real lines between 
speed and power, or between precision and kicking, or hand strikes and range; each 
element of combat movement affects those around it. The divisions I’ve made are only 
for convenient reading — don’t take them too seriously. Use a pencil as you read and 
cross reference the related areas you find. Jeet Kune Do, you see, has no definite lines 
or boundaries — only those you make yourself. 


Gilbert L. Johnson 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



CONTENTS 

Zen 

Art of the Soul 

Jeet Kune Do 

Organized Despair . 

The Facts of Jeet Kune Do 

The Formless Form 

PRELIMINARIES 

Training 

Warming Up 

On-Guard Position 

Progressive Weapons Charts 

Eight Basic Defense Positions 

Some Target Areas 

QUALITIES 

Coordination 

Precision 

Power . 

Endurance 

Balance 

Body Feel . . 

Good Form 

Vision Awareness 

Speed . 

Timing 

Attitude 

TOOLS 

Some Weapons from JKD 

Kicking 

Striking . 

Grappling 

Studies on Judo and Ju-Jitsu 

PREPARATIONS 

Feints 

Parries 

Manipulations 

MOBILITY 

Distance 

Footwork 

Evasiveness 

ATTACK 

Preparation of Attack 

Simple Attack 

Compound Attack 

Counterattack 

Riposte 

Renewed Attack 

Tactics 

Five Ways of Attack 

CIRCLE WITH NO CIRCUMFERENCE 

IT’S JUST A NAME 


. 7 
. 9 
. 11 
. 14 
. 23 
. 23 
. 26 
. 27 
. 28 
. 29 
. 35 
. 37 
. 40 
. 42 
. 43 
. 45 
. 45 
. 46 
. 47 
. 50 
. 51 
. 54 
. 56 
. 59 
. 68 
. 70 
. 74 
. 76 
. 88 
. 115 
. 122 
. 124 
. 125 
. 129 
. 135 
. 138 
. 139 
. 142 
. 154 
. 160 
. 164 
. 166 
. 170 
. 173 

181 

184 

185 

194 

200 

205 


ON ZEN 


To obtain enlightenment in martial art means the extinction of everything which ob- 
scures the “true knowledge/* the “real life/* At the same time, it implies boundless 
expansion and, indeed, emphasis should fall not on the cultivation of the particular de- 
partment which merges into the totality, but rather on the totality that enters and 
unites that particular department. 


The way to transcend karma lies in the proper use of the mind and the will. The one- 
ness of all life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate 
self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are forever annihilated. 


Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that. The void is 
all-inclusive, having no opposite — there is nothing which it excludes or opposes. It is 
living void, because all forms come out of it and whoever realizes the void is filled with 
life and power and the love of all beings. 


Turn into a doll made of wood: it has no ego, it thinks nothing, it is not grasping or 
sticky. Let the body and limbs work themselves out in accordance with the discipline 
they have undergone. 


If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be 
like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. 


Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped. 


I’m moving and not moving at all. I’m like the moon underneath the waves that ever 
go on rolling and rocking. It is not, “I am doing this/’ but rather, an inner realization 
that “this is happening through me,” or “it is doing this for me.” The consciousness 
of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action. 


The localization of the mind means its freezing. When it ceases to flow freely as it is 
needed, it is no more the mind in its suchness. 

7 


The consciousness 
of self is the great- 
est hindrance to 
the proper exe- 
cution of all 
physical action. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The '‘Immovable” is the concentration of energy at a given focus, as at the axis of a 
wheel, instead of dispersal in scattered activities. 


The point is the doing of them rather than the accomplishments. There is no actor but 
the action; there is no experieneer but the experience. 


To see a thing uncolored by one’s own personal preferences and desires is to see it in 
its own pristine simplicity. 


Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers 
man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. 


To see a thing 
uncolored by 
one’s own person- 
al preferences and 
desires is to see it 
in its own pristine 
simplicity. 


The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not 
dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are 
set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The 
struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease. 


Wisdom does not consist of trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to 
“ride * 1 them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves. 


Let yourself go with the disease, be with it, keep company with it — this is the way to 
be rid of it. 


An assertion is Zen only when it is itself an act and does not refer to anything that is 
asserted in it. 


In Buddhism, there is no place for using effort. Just be ordinary and nothing special. 
Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water and when you’re tired go and lie down. 
The ignorant will laugh at me, but the wise will understand. 


8 


Establish nothing in regard to oneself. Pass quickly like the non-existent and be quiet 
as purity. Those who gain lose. Do not precede others, always follow them. 


Do not run away; let go. Do not seek, for it will come when least expected. 


Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe techniques as though not ob- 
serving. 


There is no fixed teaching. All I can provide is an appropriate medicine for a particular 
ailment. 


Buddhism’s Eight- Fold Path 

The eight requirements to eliminate suffering by correcting false values and giving true 
knowledge of life’s meaning have been summed up as follows: 

1. Right views (understanding): You must see dearly what is wrong. 

2. Right purpose (aspiration): Decide to be cured. 

3. Right speech: Speak so as to aim at being cured. 

4. Right conduct: You must act. 

5. Right vocation: Your livelihood must not conflict with your therapy. 

6. Right effort: The therapy must go forward at the “staying speed,” the 
critical velodty that can be sustained. 

7. Right awareness (mind control): You must feel it and think about it 
incessantly. 

8. Right concentration (meditation): Learn how to contemplate with the 
deep mind. 


ART OF THE SOUL 

The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world, to state in aesthetic creation 
the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being. It is to enable those 
experiences to be intelligible and generally recognized within the total framework of 
an ideal world. 


Art reveals itself in psychic understanding of the inner essence of things and gives form 
to the relation of man with nothing* with the nature of the absolute. 


Art is an expression of life and transcends both time and space. We must employ our 


There is no fixed 
teaching. All I can 
provide is an ap- 
propriate medicine 
for a particular 
ailment. 


9 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



own souls through art to give a new form and a new meaning to nature or the world. 


An artist's expression is his soul made apparent, his schooling, as well as his "cool” 
being exhibited. Behind every motion, the music of his soul is made visible. Other- 
wise, his motion is empty and empty motion is like an empty word — no meaning. 


Eliminate "not clear” thinking and function from your root. 


Art is never decoration, embellishment; instead, it is work of enlightenment. Art, in 
other words, is a technique for acquiring liberty. 


Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. 


"Artless art” 
is the artistic 
process within 
the artist; its 
meaning is "art 
of the soul. ” 


“Artless art” is the artistic process within the artist; its meaning is "arf of the soul. ” 

All the various moves of all the tools means a step on the way to the absolute aesthetic 
world of the souk 


Creation in art is the psychic unfolding of the personality, which is rooted in the noth 
ing . Its effect is a deepening of the personal dimension of the soul. 


The artless art is the art of the soul at peace, like moonlight mirrored in a deep lake. 
The ultimate aim of the artist is to use bis daily activity to become a past master of 
life, and so lay hold of the art of living. Masters in all branches of art must first be 
masters of living, for the soul creates everything. 


All vague notions must fall before a pupil can call himself a master. 


Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not 
the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capaci- 
ties — thought, feeling, will — to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the 
voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it. 


10 



Artistic skill, therefore, does not mean artistic perfection. It remains rather a con- 
tinuing medium or reflection of some step in psychic development, the perfection of 
which is not to be found in shape and form, but must radiate from the human soul. 


The artistic activity does not lie in art itself as such. It penetrates into a deeper world 
in which all art forms (of things inwardly experienced) flow together, and in which the 
harmony of soul and cosmos in the nothing has its outcome in reality. 


It is the artistic process, therefore, that is reality and reality is truth. 


The Path To Truth 

1. SEEKING AFTER TRUTH 

2. AWARENESS OF TRUTH (and its existence) 

3. PERCEPTION OF TRUTH (its substance and direction — like the perception 
of movement) 

4. UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH (A first-rate philosopher practices it to 


5. 

6 . 

7. 

8 . 
9. 

10 . 


understand it — TAO. Not to be fragmented, 
but to see the totality — Krishnamurti) 
EXPERIENCING OF TRUTH 
MASTERING OF TRUTH 
FORGETTING TRUTH 
FORGETTING THE CARRIER OF TRUTH 
RETURN TO THE PRIMAL SOURCE 
WHERE TRUTH HAS ITS ROOTS 
REPOSE IN THE NOTHING 


JEET KUNE DO 



It is indeed diff- 
cult to see the 
situation simply 
— our minds are 
very complex — 
and it is easy to 
teach one to be 
skillful, but it is 
difficult to teach 
one his own 
attitude. 


For security, the unlimited living is turned into something dead, a chosen pattern that 
limits. To understand Jeet Kune Do, one ought to throw away all ideals, patterns, 
styles; in fact, he should throw away even the concepts of what is or isn’t ideal in Jeet 
Kune Do. Can you look at a situation without naming it? Naming it, making it a 
word, causes fear. 


It is indeed difficult to see the situation simply — our minds are very complex — and it 
is easy to teach one to be skillful, but it is difficult to teach him his own attitude. 


ii 



1AU Ur «IJCi£iX JVUINlL UU 



Jeet Kune Do 
avoids the super- 
ficial » penetrates 
the complex, goes 
to the heart of the 
problem and pin- 
points the key 
factors* 


Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune 
Dp has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways 
and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end* 


Approach Jeet Kune Do with the idea of mastering the will. Forget about winning and 
losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash 
into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture 
your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with your escaping safely 
lay your life before him! 


The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to 
be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat. Let nature take its course, and 
your tools will strike at the right moment. 


Jeet Kune Do teaches us not to look backward once the course is decided upon. It 
treats life and death indifferently. 


Jeet Kune Do avoids the superficial, penetrates the complex, goes to the heart of the 
problem and pinpoints the key factors. 


Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It 
follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two 
points. 


The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify. It is being oneself; it is reality in its 
“isness. 1 * Thus, isn ess is the meaning — having freedom in its primary sense, not 
limited by attachments, confinements, partialization, complexities. 


Jeet Kune Do is the enlightenment. It is a way of life, a movement toward will power 
and control, though it ought to be enlightened by intuition. 


While being trained, the student is to be active and dynamic in every way. But in 
actual combat, his mind must be calm and not at all disturbed. He must feel as if 
nothing critical is happening. When he advances, his steps should be light and secure, 
his eyes not fixed and glaring insanely at the enemy. His behavior should not be in any 


12 



way different from his everyday behavior, no change taking place in his expression, 
nothing betraying the fact that he is engaged in mortal combat. 


The tools, your natural weapons, have a double purpose: 

1. To destroy the opponent in front of you^- annihilation of things that 
stand in the way of peace, justice and humanity. 

2. To destroy your own impulses caused by the instincts of self-preservation. 
To destroy anything bothering your mind. Not to hurt anyone, but to 
overcome your own greed, anger and folly. Jeet Kune Do is directed 
toward oneself. 


Punches and kicks are tools to kill the ego. The tools represent the force of intuitive 
or instinctive directness which, unlike the intellect or the complicated ego, does not 
divide itself, blocking its own freedom. The tools move onward without looking back 
or to the side. 


Because of the pure-heartedness and empty-mindedness inherent in man, his tools 
partake of these qualities and play their role with the utmost degree of freedom. The 
tools stand as symbols of the invisible spirit, keeping the mind, body and limbs in full 
activity. 


The art of 
Jeet Kune Do 
is simply to 
simplify. 


Absence of stereotyped technique as the substance means to be total and fre£. All 
lines and movements are the function. 


Non-attachment as the foundation is man’s original nature. In its ordinary process, 
thought moves forward without halting; past, present and future thoughts continue as 
an unbroken stream. 


Absence of thought as the doctrine means not to be carried away by thought in the 
process of thought, not to be defiled by external objects, to be in thought yet devoid 
of thought. 


True thusness is the substance of thought and thought is the function of true thusness. 
To think of thusness, to define it in thought is to defile it. 


13 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



jf 

ft 


Empty your cup 
so that it may be 
filled; become de- 
void to gain 
totality. 


Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit 
truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, preju- 
dices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself. 


Scratch away all the dirt your being has accumulated and reveal reality in its isness, or 
in its suchness, or in its nakedness, which corresponds to the Buddhist concept of 
emptiness. 


Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality. 


ORGANIZED DESPAIR 

In the long history of martial arts, the instinct to follow and imitate seems to be in- 
herent in most martial artists, instructors and students alike. This is partly due to 
human tendency and partly because of the steep traditions behind multiple patterns of 
styles. Consequently, to find a refreshing, original, master teacher is a rarity. The need 
for a “pointer of the way” echoes. 


Each man belongs to a style which claims to possess truth to the exclusion of all other 
styles. These styles become institutes with their explanations of the “Way,” dissecting 
and isolating the harmony of firmness and gentleness, establishing rhythmic forms as 
the particular state of their techniques. 


Instead of facing combat in its suchness, then, most systems of martial art accumulate 
a “fancy mess” that distorts and cramps their practitioners and distracts them from the 
actual reality of combat, which is simple and direct. Instead of going immediately to 
the heart of things, flowery forms (organized despair) and artificial techniques are 
ritualistically practiced to simulate actual combat. Thus, instead of “being” in combat 
these practitioners are “doing” something “about” combat. 


Worse still, super mental power and spiritual this and spiritual that are desperately in- 
corporated until these practitioners drift further and further into mystery and abstrac- 
tion. All such things are futile attempts to arrest and fix the ever-changing movements 
in combat and to dissect and analyze them like a corpse. 


When you get down to it, real combat is not fixed and is very much “alive.” The fancy 


14 



mess (a form of paralysis) solidifies and conditions what was once fluid, and when you 
look at it realistically, it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness 
of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere. 


When real feeling occurs, such as anger or fear, can the stylist express himself with the 
classical method, or is he merely listening to his own screams and yells? Is he a living, 
expressive human being or merely a pat tern i zed mechanical robot? Is he an entity, 
capable of flowing with external circumstances, or is he resisting with his set of chosen 
patterns? Is his chosen pattern forming a screen between him and the opponent and 
preventing a “total” and "fresh” relationship? 


Stylists, instead of looking directly into the fact, cling to forms (theories) and go on 
entangling themselves further and further, finally putting themselves into an inextrica- 
ble snare. 


They do not see it in its suchness because their indoctrination is crooked and twisted. 
Discipline must conform to the nature of things in their suchness. 


Maturity does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is the realization 
of what lies in our innermost selves. 


When there is 
freedom from 
mechanical con- 
ditioning, there 
is simplicity. 


When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. Life is a re- 
lationship to the whole. 


The man who is clear and simple does not choose. What is, is. Action based on an idea 
is obviously the action of choice and such action is not liberating. On the contrary, it 
creates further resistance, further conflict. Assume pliable awareness. 


Relationship is under standing. It is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the 
mirror in which you discover yourself - to be is to be related. 


Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is 
outside of all patterns. 


lb 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The classical man 
is just a bundle of 
routine, ideas and 
tradition. 


Forms are vain repetitions which offer an orderly and beautiful escape from self- 
knowledge with an alive opponent. 


Accumulation is self-enclosing resistance and flowery techniques strengthen the 
resistance. 


The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. When he acts, he is 
translating every living moment in terms of the old. 


Knowledge is fixed in time, whereas, knowing is continual. Knowledge comes from a 
source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a movement. 


The additive process is merely a cultivation of memory which becomes mechanical. 
Learning is never cumulative; it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning 
and no end. 


In martial arts cultivation, there must be a sense of freedom. A conditioned mind is 
never a free mind. Conditioning limits a person within the framework of a particular 
system. 


To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the 
“o/d” you derive security; from the “ new ” you gain the flow . 


To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement 
without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness. 
Watch, but don't stop and interpret, “I am free” — then you’re living in a memory of 
something that has gone. To understand and live now, everything of yesterday must 
die. 


Freedom from knowing is death; then, you are living. Die inwardly of “pro” and 
“con.” There is no such thing as doing right or wrong when there is freedom. 


When one is not expressing himself, he is not free. Thus, he begins to struggle and the 


16 



struggle breeds methodical routine. Soon, he is doing his methodical routine as re- 
sponse rather than responding to what is. 


The fighter is to always be single-minded with one object in view — to fight, looking 
neither backward nor sideways. He must get rid of obstructions to his forward move- 
ment, emotionally, physically or intellectually. 


One can function freely and totally if he is “beyond system.” The man who is really 
serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in 
what is. 


If you want to understand the truth in martial arts, to see any opponent clearly, you 
must throw away the notion of styles or schools, prejudices, likes and dislikes, and so 
forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you 
will see totally and freshly. 


If any style teaches you a method of fighting, then you might be able to fight accord- 
ing to the limit of that method, but that is not actually fighting. 


If you meet the unconventional attack, such as one delivered with broken rhythm, 
with your chosen patterns of rhythmical classical blocks, your defense and counter- 
attack will always be lacking pliability and alivenoss. 


If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, 
the shadow — you are not understanding yourself. 


How can one respond to the totality with partial, fragmentary pattern? 


Mere repetition of rhythmic, calculated movements robs combat movement of its 
“aliveness” and “isncss” — its reality. 


Accumulation of forms, just one more modification of conditioning, becomes an 
anchor that holds and ties down; it leads only one way — down. 


If you follow the 
classical pattern, 
you are under- 
standing the rou- 
tine, the tradition, 
the shadow — you 
are not under- 
standing yourself. 


17 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



jf 

h 


Truth has no 
path. Truth is 
living and* there- 
fore, changing. 


Form is the cultivation of resistance; it is the exclusive drilling of a pattern of choice 
moves. Instead of creating resistance, enter straight into the movement as it arises; do 
not condemn or condone — choiceless awareness leads to reconciliation with the 
opponent in a total understanding of what is. 


Once conditioned in a partiahzed method, once isolated in an enclosing pattern, the 
practitioner faces his opponent through a screen of resistance — he is “performing” his 
stylized blocks and listening to his own screaming and not seeing what the opponent 
is really doing. 


We are those kata, we are those classical blocks and thrusts, so heavily conditioned 
are we by them. 


To fit in with an opponent one needs direct perception. There is no direct perception 
where there is a resistance, a “this is the only way” attitude. 


Having totality means being capable of following “what is,” because “what is” is con- 
stantly moving and constantly changing. If one is anchored to a particular view, one 
will not be able to follow the swift movement of “what is.” 


Whatever one’s opinion of hooking and swinging as part of one’s style, there cannot be 
the least argument to acquiring perfect defenses against it. Indeed, nearly all natural 
fighters use it. As for the martial artist, it adds versatility to his attack. He must be 
able to hit from wherever his hand is. 


But in classical styles, system becomes more important than the man! The classical 
man functions with the pattern of a style! 


How can there be methods and systems to arrive at something that is living? To that 
which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path, but not to that which 
is living. Do not reduce reality to a static thing and then invent methods to reach it. 


Truth is relationship with the opponent; constantly moving, living, never static. 


Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no 



form, no organized institution, no philosophy. When you see that, you will under- 
stand that this living thing is also what you are. You cannot express and be alive 
through static, put-together form, through stylized movement. 


Classical forms dull your creativity, condition and freeze your sense of freedom. You 
no longer “be,” but merely “do,” without sensitivity. 


Just as yellow leaves may be gold coins to stop the crying children, thus, the so-called 
secret moves and contorted postures appease the unknowledgeabie martial artists. 


This does not mean to do nothing at all, but only to have no deliberate mind in what- 
ever one does. Do not have a mind that selects or rejects. To be without deliberate 
mind is to hang no thoughts. 


Acceptance, denial and conviction prevent understanding. Let your mind move to- 
gether with another’s in understanding with sensitivity. Then, there is a possibility of 
real communication. To understand one another, there must be a state of choiceless 
awareness where there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for a 
further development of discussion in order to agree or disagree. Above all y don't start 
from a conclusion. 


Awareness is 
without choice, 
without demand, 
without anxiety; 
in that state of 
mind, there is 
perception. 


Understand the freedom from the conformity of styles. Free yourself by observing 
closely what you normally practice. Do not condemn or approve; merely observe. 


When you are uninfluenced, when you die to the conditioning of classical responses, 
then you will know awareness and see things totally fresh, totally new. 


Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, 
there is perception. Perception alone will resolve all our problems. 


Understanding requires not just a moment of perception, but a continuous awareness, 
a continuous state of inquiry without conclusion. 


To understand combat, one must approach it in a very simple and direct manner. 


19 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



To know oneself 
is to study oneself 
in action with 
another person. 


Understanding comes about through feeling, from moment to moment in the mirror of 
relationship. 


Understanding oneself happens through a process of relationships and not through 
isolation. 


To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. 


To understand the actual requires awareness, an alert and totally free mind. 


Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards 
a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have placed a limit on 
the mind. 


This evening I see something totally new and that newness is experienced by the mind, 
but tomorrow that experience becomes mechanical if I try to repeat the sensation, the 
pleasure of it. The description is never real. What is real is seeing the truth instantane- 
ously, because truth has no tomorrow. 


We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart 
from the answer. The problem is the answer — understanding the problem dissolves 
the problem. 


Observe what is with undivided awareness. 


True thusness is without defiling thought; it cannot be known through conception and 
thought. 


20 


Thinking is not freedom — all thought is partial; it can never be total. Thought is the 
response of memory and memory is always partial, because memory is the result of 
experience. So, thought is the reaction of a mind conditioned by experience. 



Know the emptiness and tranquility of your mind. Be empty; have no style or form 
for the opponent to work on. 


The mind is originally without activity; the way is always without thought. 


Insight is realizing that one’s original nature is not created. 


There will be calmness, tranquility, when one is free from external objects and is not 
perturbed. Being tranquil means not having any illusions or delusions of thusness. 


There is no thought, only thusness — what is. Thusness does not move, but its motion 
and function are inexhaustible. 


To meditate means to realize the imperturbability of one's original nature. Surely, 
meditation can never be a process of concentration, because the highest form of 
thinking is negation. Negation is a state in which there is neither the positive, nor its 
reaction as the negative. It is a state of complete emptiness. 


Concentration is a form of exclusion and where there is exclusion, there is a thinker 
who excludes. It is the thinker, the excluder, the one who concentrates, who creates 
contradiction because he forms a center from which there is distraction. 


There is a state of action without the actor, a state of experiencing without the ex- 
periencer or the experience. It is a state bound and weighted down by the classical 
mess. 


Classical concentration that focuses on one thing and excludes all others, and aware- 
ness, which is total and excludes nothing, are states of the mind that can be under- 
stood only by objective, non-prejudiced observation. 


Awareness has no frontier; it is a giving of your whole being, without exclusion. 


Awareness has 
no frontier; it is a 
giving of your 
whole being, 
without exclusion* 


21 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Self-expression is 
total, immediate, 
without concep- 
tion of time, and 
you can only ex- 
press that if you 
are free, physical- 
ly and mentally, 
from fragmen- 
tation. 


Concentration is a narrowing down of the mind. But we are concerned with the total 
process of living and to concentrate exclusively on any particular aspect of life, be- 
littles life. 


The “moment ' 3 has not yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and, 
therefore, has not time. 


When, in a split second, your life is threatened, do you say, “Let me make sure my 
hand is on my hip, and my style is 'the’ style”? When your life is in danger, do you 
argue about the method you will adhere to while saving yourself? Why the duality? 


A so-called martial artist is the result of three thousand years of propaganda and 
conditioning. 


Why do individuals depend on thousands of years of propaganda? They may preach 
“softness” as the ideal to “firmness / 5 but when “what is'* hits, what happens? Ideals, 
principles, the “what should be” leads to hypocrisy. 


Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a 
pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationships to man. He then becomes a 
slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing. 


Agreeing to certain patterns of movement to secure the participants within the gov- 
erned rules might be good for sports like boxing or basketball, but the success of Jeet 
Kune Do lies in its freedom, both to use technique and to dispense with it. 


The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a re- 
sult, his action and, more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses 
become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited. 


Self-expression is total, immediate, without conception of time, and you can only ex- 
press that if you are free, physically and mentally, from fragmentation. 



THE FACTS OF JEET KUNE DO 


1. The economy -tight structure in attack and defense 
(attack: the alive leads / defense: sticking hands). 

2. The versatile and “artless-artful,” “total” kicking and striking weapons. 

3. The broken rhythm, the half -beat and the one or three -and -a-half beat 
(JKD's rhythm in attack and counter). 

4. Weight training and scientific supplementary training plus all-around fitness. 

5. The “JKD direct movement” in attacks and counters — throwing from where it 
is without repositioning. 

6. The shifty body and light footwork. 

7. The “un -crispy” stuff and unassuming attacking tactics. 

8. Strong in-fighting — a. shifty blasting 

b. throwing 

c. grappling 

d. immobilizations 

9. All-out sparring and the actual contact training on moving targets. 

10. The sturdy tools through continuous sharpening. 

11. Individual expression rather than mass product; aliveness rather than classicalism 
(true relationship). 

12. Total rather than partial in structure. 

13. The training of “continuity of expressive self” behind physical movements. 

14. Loose power and powerful thrust-drive as a whole. A springy looseness but not a 
physically lax body. Also, a pliable mental awareness. 

15. The constant flow (straight movement and curved movement combined — up and 
down, curved left and right, sidesteps, bobbing and weaving, hand circles). 

16. Well-balanced posture of exertion during movement, constantly. Continuity be- 
tween near all-out and near all-loose. 


I hope martial 
artists are more 
interested in the 
root of martial 
arts and not the 
different decora- 
tive branches, 
flowers or 
leaves. 


THE FORMLESS FORM 

I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the differ- 
ent decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, 
which design of branches or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the 
root, you understand all its blossoming. 


Please do not be concerned with soft versus firm, kicking versus striking, grappling 
versus hitting and kicking, long-range fighting versus in-fighting. There is no such thing 
as “this” is better than “that.” Should there be one thing we must guard against, let it 
be partiality that robs us of our pristine wholeness and makes us lose unity in the 
midst of duality. 


23 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The height of 
cultivation runs to 
simplicity. Half- 
way cultivation 
runs to orna- 
mentation. 


In combative arts, it has been the problem of ripening. This ripening is the progressive 
integration of the individual with his being, his essence. This is possible only through 
self -exploration in free expression, and not in imitative repetition- of an imposed pat- 
tern of movement. 


There are styles that favor straight lines, then there are styles that favor curved lines 
and circles. Styles that cling to one partial aspect of combat are in bondage. Jeet 
Kune Do is a technique for acquiring liberty; it is a work of enlightenment. Art is 
never decoration or embellishment. A choice method, however exacting, fixes its prac- 
titioners in a pattern. Combat is never fixed and is changing from moment to moment. 
Working in patterns is basically a practice of resistance. Such practice leads to cloggi- 
ness; understanding is not possible and its adherents are never free. 


The way of combat is not based on personal choice and fancies. Truth in the way of 
combat is perceived from moment to moment and only when there is awareness with- 
out condemnation, justification or any form of identification. 


Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and, since it has no 
style, Jeet Kune Do fits in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do uses all ways and 
is bound by none and, likewise, uses any technique or means which serves its end. In 
this art, efficiency is anything that scores. 


The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Half-way cultivation runs to ornamenta- 
tion. 


It is not difficult to trim and hack off the non-essentials in outward physical structure; 
however, to shun away, to minimize inwardly is another matter. 


You cannot see a street fight in its totality, observing it from the viewpoint of a boxer, 
a kung-fu man, a karateka, a wrestler, a judo man and so forth. You can see clearly 
only when style does not interfere. You then see it without “like-* or “ dislike ; M you 
simply see and what you see is the whole and not the partial. 


There is “what is” only when there is no comparing and to live with “what is” is to 
be peaceful. 



Fighting is not something dictated by your conditioning as a kung-fu man, a karate 
man, a judo man or what not. And seeking the opposite of a system is to enter another 
conditioning. 


A Jeet Kune Do man faces reality and not crystallization of form. The tool is a tool 
of formless form. 


No abode means that the ultimate source of all things is beyond human understanding, 
beyond the categories of time and space- As it thus transcends all modes of relativity, 
it is called “ having no abode” and its qualities are applicable. 


The fighter who has no abode is no more himself. He moves as a kind of automaton. 
He has given himself up to an influence outside his everyday consciousness, which is 
not other than his own deeply buried unconscious, whose presence he was never 
hitherto aware of. 


Expression is not developed through the practice of form, yet form is a part of ex- 
pression. The greater (expression) is not found in the lesser (expression) but the 
lesser is found within the greater. Having “no form,” then, does not mean having no 
“form.” Having “no form” evolves from having form. “No form” is the higher, 
individual expression. 


No cultivation does not really mean the absence of any kind of cultivation. What it 
signifies is a cultivation by means of non-cultivation. To practice cultivation through 
cultivation is to act with conscious mind. That is to say, to practice assertive activity. 


Do not deny the classical approach simply as a reaction, for you will have created 
another pattern and trapped yourself there. 


A Jeet Kune Do 
man faces reality 
and not crystalli- 
zation of form. 
The tool is a tool 
of formless form. 


The physically bound go for puffing and straining and miss the delicate way; the intel- 
lectually bound go for idealism and exotics and lack efficiency and actually seeing into 
realities. 


Many a martial artist likes “more,” likes “something different,” not knowing the 
truth and the way is exhibited in the simple everyday movements, because it is here 
they miss it. If there is any secret, it is missed by seeking. 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



PRELIMINARIES 

To become different from what we are , we must have some 
awareness of what we are. 


26 



PRELIMINARIES 


TRAINING 

Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the 
development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participa- 
tion. Training deals not with an object, but with the human spirit and human emotions . 
It takes intellect and judgment to handle such delicate qualities as these. 


'Training is the psychological and physiological conditioning of an individual preparing 
for intense neural and muscular reaction. It implies discipline of the mind and power 
and endurance of the body. It means skill. It is all these things working together in 
harmony. 


Training means not only knowledge of the things which will build the body, but also 
knowledge of the things which will tear down or injure the body. Improper training 
will result in injuries. Training, then, is concerned with the prevention of injuries as 
well as first-aid to injuries. 


Fitness Program 

1) Alternate Splits 

2) Push-ups 

3) Running in Place 

4) Shoulder Circling 

5) High Kicks 

6) Deep Knee Bends 

7) Side Kick Raises 

8) Twisting Sit-ups 

9) Waist Twisting 

10) Leg Raises 

11) Forward Bends 


Everyday opportunities for exercises 

# Take a walk whenever you can — like parking the car a few blocks away from 
your destination. 

# Avoid taking the elevator; climb the stairs instead. 

# Cultivate your quiet awareness by imagining an opponent attacking you — 
while you are sitting, standing, or lying down, etc. — and counter that attack 
with various moves. Simple moves are the best. 

# Practice your balance by standing on one foot to put your clothes or shoes 
on — or simply stand on one foot whenever you choose. 


Training deals 
not with an ob- 
ject, but with the 
human spirit and 
human emotions. 


21 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



A rehearsal 
of the skill be- 
fore competition 
commences fixes 
in the athlete's 
neuromuscular 
coordinating 
system the exact 
nature of the im- 
pending task. 


Supplementary Training 


( 1 ) 


( 2 ) 


(3) 


Sequence Training: 


Forearm/ Waist : 


Power Training: 


sequence 1 (Mon. Wed. Fri.) 


1) 

Rope jumping 


4) 

Jumping jack 

2) 

Forward bend 


5) 

Squat 

3) 

Cat stretch 


6) 

High kick 

sequence 2 (Tues. Th. Sat.) 



i) 

Groin stretch 


4) 

Shoulder circling 

2) 

Side leg raise 


5) 

Alternate splits 

3) 

Jumping squat 


6) 

Leg stretch — A,B- 

sequence 1 (Mon. Wed. Fri.) 



1) 

Waist twisting 


4) 

Knee drawing 

2) 

Palm up curl 


5) 

Side bend 

3) 

Roman chair 


6) 

Palm down curl 

sequence 2 (Tues. Th. 

Sat.) 



i) 

Leg raises 


4) 

Leverage bar twist 

2) 

Reverse curl 


5) 

Alternate leg raise 

3) 

Sit-up twist 


6) 

Wrist roller 

1) 

Press lockout 

4) Pull 


7) Deadlift 

2) 

Press start 

5) Squat 


8) Quarter squat 

3) 

Rise on toes 

6) Shrug 


9) Frog kick 


WARMING UP 

Warming up is a process which elicits the acute physiological changes that prepare the 
organism for strenuous physical performance. 


IMPORTANT: To gain the greatest benefit from the warming-up procedure, the exer- 
cises should imitate as closely as possible the movements which are to be used in the 
event. 


Warming up reduces the viscosity of a muscle , its resistance to its own movement . It 
improves performance and prevents injury in vigorous activities by two essential 
means: 

1. A rehearsal of the skill before competition commences fixes in the athlete's 
neuromuscular coordinating system the exact nature of the impending task. It 
also heightens his kinesthetic senses. 

2. The rise in body temperature facilitates the biochemical reactions supplying 


28 


PRELIMINARIES 


energy for muscular contractions. Elevated body temperature also shortens the 
periods of muscular relaxation and aids in reducing stiffness . 

As a result of these two processes, there is an improvement in accuracy, strength and 
speed of movement, and an increase in tissue elasticity which lessens the liability to 
injury. 

No fighter uses his leg violently until he warms it up carefully. The same principle is 
equally applicable to any muscles that are to be used so vigorously* 

The duration of the warm-up period varies with the event. In ballet, the dancers spend 
two hours before the performance, commencing with very light movements and gradu- 
ally increasing the intensity and range of motions until the moment before their 
appearance. This, they feel, reduces the risk of a pulled muscle which would destroy 
the perfection of their movements. 


The athlete of more advanced years tends to warm up more slowly and for a longer 
time. This fact may be due to greater need for a longer warm-up period, or it may be 
because an athlete tends to get “smarter as he gets older. 





C Cat- srtercH ) 


Proper posture 
is a matter of 
effective interior 
organization of 
the body. 


ON-GUARD POSITION 


Proper posture is a matter of effective interior organization of the body which can be 
achieved only by long and well-disciplined practice. 


- — ^ — " 




I W J 

S P 8K S 



— * (t ) 


/U*-\ -'- J 


The on-guard position is that position most favorable to the mechanical execution of 
all the total techniques and skills. It allows complete relaxation yet, at the same time, 
gives a muscle tonus most favorable to quick reaction time. 


29 



TAG OF JEET KUNE DO 




You are never 
set or tensed, but 
ready and 
flexible. 


A correct posture does three things: 

1. It insures for the body and its several members a position which is most 
mechanically favorable for the next move. 

2. It enables one to maintain a “poker body,” a body that reveals no more of its 
intended movements than a “poker face” reveals the cards of a player. 

3. It puts the body under that particular tension or degree of tonus which will be 
most favorable to quick reaction and high coordination. 


30 


PRELIMINARIES 



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The position adopted should be the one found to give maximum 
ease and relaxation, combined with smoothness of movement 
at all times. 


The on-guard position must, above all, be a “proper spiritual 
attitude” stance. 



ALTERNATIVE 
READY POSITION 


The position 
adopted should 
be the one found 
to give maximum 
ease and relaxa- 
tion, combined 
with smoothness 
of movement 
at all times. 


The Head 


In Western boxing, the head is treated as if it were a part of the trunk, generally, with 


31 




TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



if 

h 


Keep the lead 
hand always in 
some subtle mo- 
tion for easier 
initiation. 


no independent action of its own. In close-in fighting, it should be carried vertically, 
with the point of the chin pinned to the collarbone and the side of the chin held 
against the inside of the lead shoulder. The chin does not go all the way down to meet 
the shoulder, nor does the shoulder come all the way up. They meet halfway. The 
shoulder is raised an inch or two and the chin is dropped an inch or two. 


The point of the chin is not tucked into the lead shoulder except when angling the head 
back in an extreme defensive position. Tucking the point of the chin into the lead 
shoulder turns the neck into an unnatural position, takes away the support of the 
muscles and prevents straight bone alignment. It also tenses the lead shoulder and arm, 
preventing free action and causing fatigue. 


With the chin dropped and pinned tight to the collarbone, the muscles and bone struc- 
ture are in the best possible alignment and only the top of the head is presented to the 
opponent, making it impossible to be hit on the point of the chin. 


The Lead Arm and Hand 

The shoulder is loose and the hand is held slightly lower, relaxed and ready for attack- 
ing. The entire arm and shoulder must be loose and relaxed so that the fighter will be 
able to snap or whip out the lead in rapier-like thrusts. The hand position changes fre- 
quently from the low back fist position to about shoulder height and as far to the out- 
side of the lead shoulder as possible without raising the elbow. Keep the lead hand 
always in some subtle motion for easier initiation. 


The preference for a low-line position with absence of an extended lead is because most 
people are weak in low-line defense. Also, with the absence of an extended lead, many 
preparations on same are useless. (The head now becomes a moving target, augmented 
by sensitive distance.) So, if the opponent's offensive game is based on these prepara- 
tory movements, he is severely handicapped and partly checked. 


The elongated guard can prove a dangerous weakness in both attacks and defense. 

In attacks: 

1. Necessitates withdrawing the arm, thus telegraphing (unlike a coiled spring), 

2. Needs preparation for hooks. 

In defense: 

1. Uncovers the lead side of the body. 

2. The opponent knows where it is and can maneuver all around it. 

3. An extended hand offers itself for immobilization. 

Thus, adopt the recommended position to keep the potentialities of your lead reach a 
secret. 


32 



PRELIMINARIES 


The Rear Arm and Hand 

The rear elbow is held down and in front of the short ribs* The rear forearm covers the 
solar plexus. The open palm of the rear hand faces the opponent and is positioned 
between the opponent and the rear shoulder, in line with the lead shoulder. The rear 
hand may also rest lightly upon the body. The arm should be relaxed and easy, ready 
to attack or defend. Either or both hands may perform a circular “weaving” motion* 
The important thing is to keep them moving, but retain cover. 


The Trunk 

The position of the trunk is controlled primarily by the position of the leading foot and 
leg. If the leading foot and leg are in the correct position, the trunk automatically 
assumes the proper position. The one important thing about the trunk is that it should 
form a straight line with the leading leg . As the leading foot and leg are turned inward, 
the body rotates in the same direction, which presents a narrow target to the opponent* 
If, however, the leading foot and leg are rotated outward, the body is squared toward 
the opponent, presenting a large target* For defensive purposes, the narrow target is 
advantageous, while the square position lends itself better to some attacks. 


Stance 

The semi -crouch stance is the perfect stance for fighting because you are braced but are, 
at all times, in a comfortably balanced position from which you can attack, counter, or 
defend without preliminary movement . This stance may be referred to as the 1 'small 
phasic bent-knee stance. ” 

SMALL: Means appropriateness, not over -extended steps nor insufficient length 
of stepping. Small quick steps for speed and controlled balance in 
bridging gap to opponent, not distinctive enough for opponent to time. 

PHASIC: A stage or interval in a development or cycle, not still or static, but 
constantly changing. 

BENT-KNEE: Ensures readiness in motion at all times. 


The pattern of bent knees, crouched trunk, slightly forward center of gravity and par- 
tially flexed arm is characteristic of £ ‘readiness” in many sports* 


At any time, the lead foot should be hampered as little as possible. If too much weight 
is on it, it will be necessary to transfer that weight to the rear leg before starting the 
attack* This movement involves a delay and also warns the opponent. 


The one im- 
portant thing 
about the trunk 
is that it should 
form a straight 
line with the 
leading leg* 


33 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Balance is the 
most important 
consideration in 
the on-guard 
position. 


FUNDAMENTAL POSITIONING is the foundation. 

Fundamental suggests: 

1* Simple but effective organization of oneself mentally and physically. 

2. Ease* comfort and body feel during maintenance of the “spiritual stance. f> 

3. Simplicity. Movement with no strain. Being neutral, it has no commitment in 
directional course or exertion. 

Positioning suggests: 

1. A state of movement as opposed to a static position, an “established” form or 
attitude. 

2. Repositioning, especially with small phasic movement, resulting in further dis- 
organization of the opponent’s sustained watchfulness. 

3. Adaptation to opponent’s watchfulness. 


Springiness and alertness of footwork is the key theme. The rear heel is raised and 
cocked, ever ready to pull the trigger into action. You are never set or tensed , but are 
ready and flexible . 


The primary purpose of JKD is kicking, hitting and applying bodily force. Therefore, 
the use of the on-guard position is to obtain the most favorable position for the 
above-mentioned. 


To hit or to kick effectively, it is necessary to shift weight constantly from one leg to 
the other. This means perfect control of body balance. Balance is the most important 
consideration in the on-guard position , 


Naturalness means easily and comfortably , so all muscles can act with the greatest speed 
and ease. Stand loosely and lightly, avoid tension and muscular contraction. Distinguish 
between drilling comfort and personal comfort. Thus, you will both guard and hit with 
more speed, precision and power. 


You are all back, elbows, forearms, fist and forehead. You look more on the order of a 
cat with its back hunched up and ready to spring, except that you are relaxed. Your 
opponent hasn’t much to shoot at. Your chin is tucked between your shoulders. Your 
elbows protect your sides. You are partially contracted in the middle. The on-guard 
position is the safest position. 


Thus: 

I.-. Use tools that will least deviate from the on-guard position. 


34 


PRELIMINARIES 


2. Practice instantaneous explosion from neutrality and retain neutrality in 
commitment, all into one constant smooth flow. 

3. Practice constantly to apply all tools from the on-guard position and return 
to the on^uard position with all possible rapidity. Shorten the gap time 
between position and execution more and more. Ease, speed, relay. 


Above all „ do not lay down restricting rules. 


PROGRESSIVE WEAPONS CHARTS 


Because of their advanced position, your leading foot and hand constitute at least 80 
per cent of all locking and striking (they are halfway to the target before starting). It 



Above all, do 
not lay down re- 
stricting rules. 


is important that they can strike with speed and power singly or in combinations. Also, 
they must be reinforced by equal precision of the rear foot and hand. 


35 











like the cobra, 
you remain 
coiled in a 
loose but com- 
pact position 
and your strike 
should be felt 
before it is seei 





TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 




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TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



QUALITIES 

It's not daily increase but daily decrease-hack away the 
unessentials! 


42 


QUALITIES 


COORDINATION 

Coordination is by all means one of the most important considerations in any study of 
proficiency in sports and athletics. Coordination is the quality which enables the indi- 
vidual to integrate all the powers and capacities of his whole organism into an effective 
doing of an act. 


Before movements can take place, there must be a change of muscular tension on both 
sides of the joints to be moved. The effectiveness of this muscular teamwork is one of 
the factors which determine limits of speed, endurance, power, agility and accuracy in 
all athletic performances. 


In static or slow resistive activities, such as executing a handstand or supporting a heavy 
barbell, the muscles on both sides of the joints act strongly to fix the body in the 
desired position. When rapid motion takes place, as in running or throwing, the 
muscles closing the joints shorten and those on the opposite side lengthen to permit 
the movement. There is still tension on both sides, but on the lengthening side, it is 
considerably reduced. 


Any excessive tension in the lengthening muscles acts as a brake and thereby slows and 
weakens the action. Such antagonistic tension increases the energy cost of muscular 
work, resulting in early fatigue. When a new task with a demand that is different in 
intensity of load, rate, repetition or duration is undertaken, an entirely new pattern of 
“neurophysiological adjustment” must be acquired. Thus, the fatigue experienced in 
new activities is not just from using different muscles but is also due to the braking 
caused by improper coordination. 


The outstanding characteristic of the expert athlete is his ease of movement , even 
during maximal effort. The novice is characterized by his tenseness, wasted motion and 
excess effort. That rare person, the “natural athlete,’' seems to be endowed with the 
ability to undertake any sport activity, whether he is experienced in it or not, with 
ease. The ease is his ability to perform with minimal antagonistic tension . It is more 
present in some athletes than in others, but can be improved by all. 


The fighter whose movements seem awkward, who never seems to find the proper 
distance, is always being timed, never “out -guesses” his opponent, and always gives 
warning of his intentions before they become serious, is suffering chiefly from a lack 
of coordination. The well-coordinated fighter does everything smoothly and grace- 
fully. He seems to glide in and out of distance with a minimum of effort and a maxi- 
mum of deception . His timing is usually good because his own movements are so 


The outstanding 
characteristic of 
the expert athlete 
is his ease of move* 
ment, even during 
maximal effort. 


43 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Learning co- 
ordination is a 
matter of train- 
ing the nervous 
system and not a 
question of train- 
ing muscles. 


rhythmical they tend to establish complementary rhythm on the part of his opponent, 
a rhythm he can break to his own advantage because of his perfect control of his own 
muscles. He seems to out-guess his opponent because he usually takes the initiative and, 
to a large extent* forces the reactions of his opponent. Above all, he makes his move- 
ments with a purpose , rather than with a doubting hope, because he has confidence in 
himself . 


Muscles have no power to guide themselves, but the manner in which they act, and 
consequently the effectiveness of our performances, depends absolutely on how the 
nervous system guides them. Thus* a badly executed move is the result of impulses 
sent to the wrong muscles by the nervous system, or sent a fraction of a second too 
soon or too late, or sent in improper sequence or in poorly apportioned intensity. 


Well-executed movement means the nervous system has been trained to the point 
where it sends impulses to certain muscles, causing these muscles to contract at exactly 
the proper fraction of a second. At the same time, impulses to the antagonistic muscles 
are shut off, allowing those muscles to relax. Properly coordinated impulses surge with 
just the exact intensity required and they stop at the exact fraction of a second when 
they are no longer needed. 


Therefore, learning coordination is a matter of training the nervous system and not a 
question of training muscles. The transition from totally uncoordinated muscular 
effort to skill of the highest perfection is a process of developing the connections in the 
nervous system. Psychologists and biologists tell us that the billions of elements in the 
nervous system are not in direct connection with each other, but that the fibers of one 
nerve cell intertwine with those of other cells in such close proximity that impulses can 
pass from one to others by a process of induction. This point at which the impulse 
passes from one nerve cell to another is called the “ synapse . " The synapse theory ex- 
plains why the baby who displayed totally uncoordinated responses at the sight of a 
ball eventually becomes the big league ball-player. 


Training for skill (coordination) is purely a matter of forming proper connections in 
the nervous system through practice (precision practice). Each performance of an act 
strengthens the connections involved and makes the next performance easier, more cer- 
tain, and more readily done. Likewise, disuse tends to weaken any pathways that have 
been formed and makes doing of the act more difficult and uncertain { constant exer- 
cises). Thus, we can attain skill only by actually doing the thing we are trying to learn. 
We learn solely by doing or reacting. When learning to form pathways, be sure the 
actions are the most economical as well as the most efficient use of energy and motion. 


To become a champion requires a condition of readiness that causes the individual to 


44 



QUALITIES 


approach with pleasure even the most tedious practice session. The more “ready” the 
person is to respond to a slim ulus, the more satisfaction he finds in the response, and 
the more “unready” he is, the more annoying he finds il to be forced to act. 


IMPORTANT: Do not practice finely skilled movements after you are tired, for you 
will begin to substitute gi'oss motions for finer ones and generalized efforts for specific 
ones . Remember, wrong movements tend to supervene and the athlete's progress is set 
hack. Thus , the athlete practices fine skills only while he is fresh. When he becomes 
fatigued, he shifts to tasks employing gross movements designed principally to develop 
enduran ce. 


PRECISION 

Precision of movement means accuracy and generally is used in the sense of exactness 
in the projection of a force. 


Precision is made up of controlled body movements. These movements should eventu- 
ally be executed with a minimum amount of strength and exertion, while still achieving 
the desired result. Precision can only be attained through a considerable amount of 
practice and training on the part of both the beginner and the experienced fighter. 


Skill is best acquired by learning accuracy and precision first with speed before the skill 
act is attempted with much power and speed. 


Precision 
of movement 
means accuracy 
and generally is 
used in the sense 
of exactness in 
the projection 
of a force. 


A mirror is a definite aid to achieving precision by providing a constant check on pos- 
ture, hand position and technical movement. 


POWER 

To be accurate, the striking or throwing skills should be executed from a body base that 
possesses enough strength to maintain adequate balance during the action. 


To appropriately incorporate momentum with mechanical advantage, neural impulses 
are sent to the working muscle to bring a sufficient n umber of fibers into action at pre- 
cisely the right time, while impulses to the antagonistic muscles are reduced to lessen 
the resistance ■ — a.11 acting to improve efficiency and to make the best use of available 
power. 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



When approaching an unfamiliar task, the athlete tends to overmobilize his muscular 
forces, exerting more effort than required. This is a lack of “knowledge” by the reflec- 
tive neuromuscular coordinating system. 


A powerful athlete is not a strong athlete, but one who can exert his strength quickly. 
Since power equals force Limes speed, if the athlete learns to make faster movements 
he increases his power, oven though the contractile polling strength of his muscles 
remains unchanged. Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as 
far as the heavier man who swings slowly. 


The athlete who is building muscles through weight training should be very sure to work 
adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. Combined with adequate speed, 
flexibility and endurance, high levels of strength lead to excellence in most sports. In 
combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal 
strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit. 


ENDURANCE 


The best form 
of endurance ex- 
ercise is the per- 
formance of 
the event. 


Endurance is developed by hard and continuous exercise which exceeds the “steady” 
physiological state and produces near exhaustion, temporarily. Considerable respira- 
tory and muscular distress should develop. 


The best form of endurance exercise is the performance of the event. Of course, run- 
ning and shadow boxing are necessary supplementary endurance exercises, but you 
should do them with broken rhythm, broken neurophysiological adjustment. 


Most beginning athletes are unwilling to drive themselves hard enough. They should 
punish themselves and then rest adequately, only to increase the output of effort after 
the rest. Long hours of work made up of many short, high-speed efforts interspersed 
with periods of milder activity seem to be the best endurance-training procedure. 


Four hypotheses for extra-endurance sports: 

1. Endurance can be acquired through a rather extensive succession of sprints 
interspersed with easier running. 

2. One trains for an endurance that is specific to a particular rate of speed. 

3. Extreme endurance training should include much more and longer work than 
what has been customary. (Such “Spartan” training is for the champ.) 


46 



QUALITIES 


4. An occasional change of pace should be included that employs different 
movements and, to some degree, different muscle fibers. 


Exercises for endurance development should be gradually and carefully increased. Six 
weeks seem to be a scanty minimum for sports that require considerable endurance and 
six weeks are really only the beginning. The peak of achievement will be approached in 
years. 


Endurance is lost rapidly if one ceases to work at its maintenance. 


BALANCE 

Balance is the all-important factor in a fighter's attitude or stance. Without balance at 
all times, he can never be effective. 


Balance is achieved only through correct body alignment. The feet, the legs, the trunk, 
the head are all important in creating and maintaining a balanced position. They are 
the vehicles of body force. Keeping the feet in proper relation to each other, as well as 
to the body, helps to maintain correct body alignment. 


Too wide a stance prevents proper alignment, destroying the purpose of balance but 
obtaining solidarity and power at the cost of speed and efficient movement. A short 
stance prevents balance as it does not give a basis from which to work. Speed results 
but at a loss of power and balance. 


The secret of a proper balance in the proper stance is to keep the feet directly under the 
body, which means they should be a medium distance apart . Either the weight is 
balanced over both legs or (as in Western boxing) it is carried slightly forward over the 
lead leg. The lead leg is fairly straight and the knee is loose and easy, not locked. The 
lead side of the body forms a straight line from the lead heel to the tip of the lead 
shoulder. This position permits relaxation, speed, balance and easy movement, as well 
as a mechanical advantage, making possible tremendous power. 


In general for athletic contests, a preparatory stance will include a “coiled” or semi- 
crouched posture and a lowered, forward center of gravity. With the bending of the 
forward knee, the center of gravity moves forward a little. For general readiness, the 
lead heel usually remains just touching the ground even after the knees bend. Slight 
ground contact of the heel aids in balance and decreases tension. 


Endurance is 
lost rapidly if one 
ceases to work at 
its maintenance* 


47 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Always leave the space of a natural step between your feet. By doing so, you are braced 
and never standing on just one point. 


By not getting your feet crossed, you are not likely to be pushed off-balance or knocked 
down because of bad footwork. 


Poslural habits: 

1. Lower the center of gravity. 

2. Keep a base with lateral width, 

3. Keep weight on the balls of the feet. 

4. Knees are rarely straightened, even in running. 

5. A center of gravity kept under delicate and rapid motion are characteristic 
habits of athleLes in games that require sudden and frequent changes of 
direction. 


Tn general 
for athletic con- 
tests, a prepara- 
tory stance will in- 
clude a “coiled ?> 
or semi -crouched 
posture and a 
lowered, for- 
ward center 
of gravity. 



These postural habits are characteristics of readiness in motion as wet) as static posture. 
The athlete displays these static and phasic motor habits before and immediately after 
each act, in preparation for the next act. When sudden movement may he necessary, 
the good athlete is rarely caught with a straight knee or with other completely 
straightened joint angles. From such bent-knee preparatory -running has come the 
well-known statement, “The good athlete always runs as if his pants need pressing.” 


43 



QUALITIES 


Balance is the control of one’s center of gravity plus the control and utilization of body 
slants and Unstable equilibrium, hence gravity pull, to facilitate movement. So , balance 
might mean being able to throw one's center of gravity beyond the base of support, 
chase it , and never let it get away. 


The short step and the glide, as contrasted with the hop or cross step, are devices to 
keep the center of gravity. When it is necessary to move rapidly, the good man takes 
small enough steps so that his center of gravity is rarely out of control. 


Body slants in a preparatory position are counter -balanced with an extended arm, leg 
or both. 


One should seek good balance in motion and not in stillness. 


The fighter’s center of gravity changes constantly, varying with his own actions and 
those of his opponent. 


The missing of a blow or intended kick means momentary loss of balance. That is why 
the counter Tighter usually has the advantage, but the attacker will be fairly safe by 
adopting the small phasic bent-knee stance . Practice counters the moment your oppo- 
nent loses his balance, especially if he is the stand-up type. 


One should seek 
good balance in 
motion and not 
in stillness. 


Balance must be under control at all times so that the fighter will not lose his control 
in the middle of an action. 




# For an attack, the center of gravity should imperceptibly be shifted to the 
front foot in order to allow the back leg and foot freedom for the shortest, 
fastest and most explosive lunge. 

# For a parry, the center of gravity should be shifted slightly to the rear foot 
so that the distance is increased and more time is allowed for the parry and 
riposte movements. 


49 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



You should 
be able to make 
all your moves at 
walking pace if 
necessary. 


Always stay in balance to throw another kick or punch. Watch out for too much 
commitment. 


Training Aids 

Feel for the proper relation of the feet to each other and to the body while attacking 
in combination, retreating and countering. Note their positioning for ail types of hits 
and kicks. 


Feel yourself in a balanced stance. You should be able to make all your moves at walk- 
ing pace if necessary. Feel the difference by putting yourself in balanced and unbalanced 
positions. Move forward, backward and sideways. Coordinate with striking and kick- 
ing; make sure you get speed and power and, above all, a balanced position to keep up 
or to speedily recover. 


One of the finest exercises for the development of a sense of balance is undoubtedly not 
ordinary haphazard skipping, but rather the real thing. First, skip on one foot, holding 
the other in front of you; then skip on the other. After that, skip on alternate feet with 
each revolution of the rope (not as simple as it may appear) and work up to the highest 
possible speed. Keep the skipping going for three minutes (the duration of a round), 
then rest for a minute and skip for another three minutes. Three rounds of skipping in 
a variety of ways will form the opening for a good workout. 


BODY FEEL 

Body Feel suggests a harmonious interplay of body and spirit , both inseparable. 


Body Feel in Attack 
PHYSICAL; 

1. Consider balance before, during, after. 

2. Consider air-tight defense before, during, after. 

3. Learn to cut into the opponent’s moving tools and limit the ground for his 
agility. 

4. Consider aliveness. 

MENTAL: 

1. Allow the “wanting” to score the target. 

2. Back yourself by alertness, awareness to sudden change to defense or counter. 

3. Keep a neutral watchfulness at all times, always observing the opponent’s 
actions and reactions to fit in. 


50 


QUALITIES 


S 


4. Learn to relay destructiveness (looseness, speed, compactness, ease) to 
moving targets. 


Body Feel in Defense 

1. Study the opponent’s delivering method — signs of telegraphing. 

2. Learn to time the opponent’s second, third moves — read his style and solve 
the problem should simple attacks fail. 

3. Read the opponent’s moment of helplessness. 

4. Take advantage of a common tendency to “reach” with spent tools. 

5. Draw the opponent off balance into one’s sensitive aura while keeping your 
own balance. 

3. Be able to express efficiency while moving backward and experiment with all 
possibilities (sidestepping, curving, etc.). Stay in balance for finishing blows 
and kicks. 

7. At the right moment, attack instantaneously with 
a. correct self -synchronization 
As one b. right distance 
c. right timing 


Body Feel 
suggests a har- 
monious interplay 
of body and spirit 
both inseparable. 


result, eliminate the unnecessary motions and muscle contractions which fatigue with- 
out accomplishing any useful purpose. 


The education of neuromuscular skill: 

# The first step is to acquire the feeling of relaxation. 

# The second step is to practice until this feeling can be reproduced at will. 

# The third step is to reproduce that feeling voluntarily in potentially 
tension -creating situations. 


The ability to feel contraction and relaxation, to know what a muscle is doing, is called 
“kinesthetic perception. ” Kinesthetic perception is developed by consciously placing 
the body and its parts in a given position and getting the feel of it . This feeling of bal- 
ance or imbalance, grace or awkwardness, serves as a constant guide to the body as it 
moves. 


GOOD FORM 

Good form is the most efficient manner to accomplish the purpose of a performance 
with a minimum of lost motion and wasted energy. 


To conserve energy by using the least possible amount of energy to achieve a given 


51 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Good form is 
the most efficient 
manner to accom- 
plish the purpose 
of a performance 
with a minimum 
of lost motion 
and wasted 
energy. 


Kinesthetic perception should be developed to such a degree that the body is uncom- 
fortable unless it performs each motion with a minimum of effort to produce maxi- 
mum results (apply to posture, too). 



Relaxation is a physical state, but it is controlled by the mental state. It is acquired by 
the conscious effort to control the thought as well as the action pattern. It takes per- 
ception , practice and willingness to train the mind into new habits of thinking and the 
body into new habits of action. 


Relaxation refers to the degree of tension in the musculature. The rule in sports is to 
try to have no more tension in the acting muscles than is necessary to perform the act, 
and to have as low a degree of tension in the antagonistic muscles as possible and still 
maintain any necessary inhibitory control. Muscles are always in a slight state of ten- 
sion and this is as they should be. But when they begin to “tighten up’ * too much, we 
find uar speed and skill being handicapped. The main difficulty in such cases lies in the 
over tension of the antagonistic muscles. A low degree of tension in the acting muscles 
means less energy usage. Tense antagonistic muscles waste energy and cause stiffness 


52 



QUALITIES 


and/or resistance to the movement. In coordinated, graceful and efficient movement, 
the opposing muscles must be able to relax and lengthen readily and easily. 


Relaxation in sports depends upon the cultivation of mental poise and emotional con- 
trol. A relaxed technician expends mental and physical energy constructively > convert- 
ing it when it does not contribute to the solution of the problem and spending it freely 
when it does. It does not mean he is lax and moves and thinks slowly. Neither does it 
mean he is careless or indifferent. The relaxation desired is relaxation of muscles , 
rather than of mind or attention. 


Energy saved by sound mechanics of form can be utilized in the longer persistence or 
the more forceful expression of the skill. 


The older athlete regards form as a means of energy conservation and the great athlete 
saves energy because his extra skill makes each motion more effective “ he makes 
fewer needless motions and his conditioned body uses less energy per movement. 


Always train in good form . Learn to move easily and smoothly. Start your workout 
with shadow boxing to loosen your muscles. At first concentrate on proper form; later, 
work harder. 


The mastery of proper fundamentals and their progressive application is the secret of 
being a great fighter. 


Energy saved by 
sound mechanics 
of form can be 
utilized in the 
longer persistence 
or the more force- 
ful expression 
of the skill. 


In most cases, the same tactic for each maneuver must be drilled on the opposite side of 
the body for the proper balance in efficiency, but the chief consideration in developing 
form is to make sure that no fundamental, mechanical principles are violated. 


Economy of Motion 

There is a best way to perform any task. A few of the principles that have been found 
to be of importance in improving performance are as follows: 

1. Momentum should be employed to overcome resistance. 

2. Momentum should be reduced to a minimum if it must be overcome by 
muscular effort. 

3. Continuous curved motions require less effort than straight line motions 
involving sudden and sharp changes in direction. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Good form 
may be defined 
as the particular 
technique which 
enables the indi- 
vidual to attain 
maximum effi- 
ciency in the 
activity. 


4. When the initiating muscles are unopposed, allowing free and smooth 
motion, the movements are faster, easier and more accurate than restricted 
or controlled movements. 

5. Work arranged to permit an easy and natural rhythm is conducive to smooth 
and automatic performance. 

6. Hesitation or the temporary and often minute cessation of motion should be 
eliminated from the performance. 


It is all right to change one’s style to adapt to various circumstances, but remember not 
to change your basic form. By changing style, 1 mean switching your plan of attack. 


Good form may be defined as the particular technique which enables the individual to 
attain maximum efficiency in the activity. 


Balance, too, is vital to good form. Whether it be a kick or a punch that you are throw- 
ing, you will not have sustained power unless your balance and perfect timing give you 
enough leverage. 


Above all things, remember this: If you tighten up, you lose the flexibility and timing 
which are so important to successful fighters. Therefore, consciously practice economi- 
cal neuromuscular perceptive movements daily and keep relaxed at all times. 


VISION AWARENESS 

Learning great speed in visual recognition is a basic beginning. Your training should 
include short, concentrated, daily practice in seeing quickly (awareness drills). 


High levels of perceptual speed are the product of learning, not of inheritance. 


A boy who is a little slow in reaction time, or in speed of delivery, may compensate for 
this slowness through quick seeing. 


54 


Speed of perception is somewhat affected by the distribution of the observer’s atten- 
tion — fewer separate choices, faster action. When the cue to be recognized is likely to 


QUALITIES 


be one of several, each of which requires a different response, the time is lengthened. 
Choice reaction takes longer than simple reaction . This is the basis for training the tools 
in terms of neurophysiological adjustment toward instinctive economy. Instinctive 
movement, being the simplest, is the quickest and most accurate. 


Progression from volition to reflex control is when an athlete's awareness is shifted from 
small details (mechanical performance) to larger ones, and finally to the whole action, 
without a thought given to any single part. 


A habit of diffusing the attention over a wider area helps the offensive passer to sec 
openings more quickly. 


For most rapid perception, a l ten lion must be at its maximum focus on the area of the 
thing to be perceived (i.e.: “Get-set! M takes advantage over an opponent who larks this 
“get-set" preparation). 


Experiments indicate that auditory cues, when occurring close to the athlete* arc 
responded to more quickly than visual ones. Make use of auditory cues together with 
visual cues, if possible. Remember, however, the focus of attention on general mo ce- 
ment produces faster action than focus on hearing or seeing the cue. 


Train yourself to cut down unnecessary choice -reactions (minimize yourself naturally) 
while giving your opponent a variety of possible responses. 


A good man is continually trying to force his opponent into the slower, choice-reaction 
situation. 


Strategies of distracting attention (fakes and feints) are athletic devices to direct the 
opponent's attention and to make him hesitate before he can be sure of his cue to act. 
Of course* an additional advantage is gained if the opponent can bo induced to make a 
preliminary motion in an appropriate direction. 


The offensive opponent who can hit or kick only from one side permits the defensive 
opponent the faster action of a one-sided focus of attention. 


A person reacts to a quick motion toward his eyes by instinctively blinking. Such in- 
stinctive blinking must be controlled in practice or else the opponent, if aware that 


High levels of 
perceptual speed 
are the product of 
learning, not of 
inheritance. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



A good man 
is continually 
trying to force 
his opponent in- 
to the slower 
choice-reaction 
situation. 


the fighter closes his eyes when threatened, may provoke this reaction and utilize the 
moment of blindness for a hit or kick. 


Central vision means that the eyes and attention are fixed on one point. In peripheral 
vision , although the eyes are fixed on one point, the attention is expanded to a larger 
field. Central vision may be thought of as being sharp and clear, while peripheral 
vision is more diffuse. 


In combat, a student must learn to expand his attention over the entire area by making 
full use of his peripheral vision. 

Exercise: The teacher extends his index finger and instructs his student to con- 

centrate on the point of the finger. He then begins moving the index 
finger of his other hand into the student's field of vision and slowly 
describes letters and numerals with it. The student should be able to 
expand his attention sufficiently to recognize the figures without 
changing the focus of his eyes. 


The field of vision is enlarged by distance and diminished at close-range. Also, it is 
generally easier to follow the opponent's footwork than his hand work, since the foot 
moves relatively slowly compared to the more rapidly moving hand. 



Types of speed: 

1. Perceptual speed. Quickness of eye to see openings and to discourage the 
opponent, confusing him and slowing him down. 



QUALITIES 


2. Mental speed* Quickness of mind to select the right move to frustrate and 
counter the opponent. 

3* Initiation speed. Economical starting from the right posture and with the 
correct mental attitude. 

4. Performance speed. Quickness of movement in carrying the chosen move 
into effect. Involves actual muscle contraction speed. 

5. Alteration speed. The ability to change direction midstream. Involves con- 
trol of balance and inertia. (Use small phasic bent-knee stance.) 


Desirable characteristics to promote speed: 

1. Mobility 

2. Spring, resilience, elasticity 

3. Resistance to fatigue (i.e.; stamina and physical fitness) 

4. Physical and mental alertness 

5. Imagination and anticipation 


Exercises which increase skill and flexibility of both hand and footwork are indispen- 
sable building blocks for the fighter. Many fighters fail to appreciate how much true 
speed depends on economy of motion (i.e.: good form and good coordination). Thus, 
constant mechanical drill (practicing the activity) is essential. A certain amount of 
emotional stimulation helps as well. 


Overall tension 
and unnecessary 
muscular con- 
tractions act as 
brakes, reducing 
speed and dissi- 
pating energy. 


Shadow boxing is a good agility exercise as well as a method for building up speed. 
Keep your mind on the job! Imagine that your worst enemy, if you happen to 
have one, is there in front of you and go out to give him all youVe got. Use your 
imagination to the utmost; try to anticipate the moves your phantom rival will 
endeavor to put across and work yourself up into a real fighting frame of mind. 
Shadow boxing helps wind, speed, gives ideas and helps the mind fix boxing moves 
ready for use when they are most wanted. 


Economy of form and relaxing the muscles add to speed. One of the greatest adjust- 
ments the novice athlete must make in competition is to overcome the natural 
tendency to try too hard — to hurry, strain, press and try to blast the whole fight at 
once. As the athlete forces himself to give everything he has to the performance, his 
mental demands exceed his physical capacities. The result may be described as 
generalized rather than specific effort . Overall tension and unnecessary muscular con- 
tractions act as brakes , reducing speed and dissipating energy. The body performs 
better when the athlete lets it go than when he tries to drive it. When the athlete is 
running as fast as he can, he should not feel as though he ought to be running faster. 


57 



TAO OF JEET KUNE 



The whiplike 
or c oiled-spring 
action of the hu- 
man body in its 
striking (throw- 
ing) movement 
pattern is a re- 
markable phe- 
nomenon* 


Elements that make greater speed possible: 

# Preliminary warming up to reduce viscosity, increase elasticity and flexibility, 
and tune the system to a higher physiological tempo (heart rate, blood flow 
and pressure, respiratory adjustment). 

# Preliminary muscular tonus and partial contraction. 

# A suitable stance. 

# Proper attention focus . 

# Reduction of stimuli-reception to rapid perceptual habits and reduction of 
the resultant movements to fast-reacting habit patterns. 


After momentum in a throwing or elliptical striking movement has been generated by 
a long radius and a long arc in the swing, the speed may be increased without applying 
additional force by suddenly shortening the radius of the arc. This effect is seen in the 
“pull-in" at the last of the arc in the hammer throw, in the backward thrust against the 
forward leg by the batter in baseball, and so on. Snapping a towel or a whip are com- 
mon examples of the same “shortened lever" principle. 


The whiplike or coiled-spring action of the human body in its striking (throwing) move- 
ment-pattern is a remarkable phenomenon. The movement of the body may start with 
a push of the toes, continue with a straightening of the knees and the trunk, add the 
shoulder rotation, the upper arm swing, and culminate in a forearm, wrist and finger 
snap. The timing is such that each segment adds its speed to that of the others . The 
shortened lever principle is used to accentuate many of the particular speeds of this 
uncoil or whip* The rotation of each segment around its particular joint-fulcrum is 
made at high speed for that particular part; but each segment rate is accelerated tre- 
mendously because it rotates around a fulcrum already highly accelerated. 


In throwing a ball, all the accumulated speeds of the body are present at the elbow 
when the forearm snaps over its fast-moving elbow-fulcrum. Most of the distance- 
throwing or arched -striking acts illustrate these speed principles. One does not “hit 
with his feet" but he does start the momentum with his feet* 

An important aspect of this multiple action of acceleration is the introduction of each 
segment movement as late as possible in order to take full advantage of the peak accel- 
eration of its fulcrum. The arm is kept so far behind that the chest muscles pulling 
against it are tensed and stretched. The final wrist snap is postponed until the last 
instant before release or, in striking, before contact. In football, the punter puts the 
last snap into his knee and foot as, or a shade after, he makes contact with the ball. It 
is this last moment acceleration that is meant by “block through the man" in football 
or U punch through the man" in boxing. The principle is to preserve the maximum 
acceleration up to the last instant of contact. Regardless of distance, the final phase of 
a movement should be the fastest . Maintaining this increasing acceleration as long as 


58 



QUALITIES 


there is contact is sound. This concept, however, is sometimes confused with the idea 
of a full, free, uninhibited motion of body inertia after the contact is over. This latter 
principle is sound only when such relaxed follow-through will not interfere with the 
speed of the next act. 


Speed is a complex aspect. It includes time of recognizing and time of reacting . The 
more complex the situation to which one reacts, the slower one is likely to be. Thus, 
the effectiveness of feints. 


The athlete can accelerate his speed by learning proper awareness (attention focus) and 
suitable preparatory postures. The rate at which he can contract his muscles is an 
important aspect in his relative speed. 


Certain physical principles govern speed: shortened radius for quicker action, longer 
arc for imparting greater momentum, centering weight for speed in rotation and multi- 
plying speed by sequential but concurrently overlapping movements. The question an 
individual athlete must answer is what kind of speed is most effective for his particular 
work method. 


Often, it’s not how fast it travels but how soon it gets there that counts. 


TIMING 

Speed and timing are complementary and speed in delivering a stroke will lose most of 
its effectiveness unless the stroke is properly timed. 


Reaction Time 


Reaction time is the time gap between a stimulus and the response. 


It may be more completely defined in two ways; 

1. The time that elapses from the occurrence of the stimulus, or cue to act, to 
the beginning of the muscle movement. 

2. The time from the occurrence of the stimulus to the completion of a simple 
muscular contraction. 


Speed and timing 
are complemen- 
tary and speed in 
delivering a stroke 
will lose most of 
its effectiveness 
unless the stroke 
is properly timed. 


59 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Both definitions include the time taken for perception. If the perception is a simple 
thing like hearing a gun or seeing a flag dropped, the amount of possible improvement 
of perceptual speed is less. The techniques of preparatory movement can be improved 
so that response time is shortened. The direction of one’s attention (awareness) to the 
motor act can shorten the response time. The remaining factor under the second defi- 
nition is that of muscle contraction speed. 


Total reaction consists of three elements: 

1. The time required for the stimulus to reach the receivers (i.e.: audio, visual, 
tactile, etc.). 

2. Plus the time required for the brain to relay the impulse through the proper 
nerve fibers to the proper muscles. 

3. Plus the time required for the muscles to get into action after receiving the 
impulse. 


Reaction time becomes longer under the following conditions: 


The direction 
of one’s atten- 
tion (awareness) 
to the motor act 
can shorten the 
response time. 


1. Not trained in any type of system 

2. Tiredness 

3 . Absent mindedness 

4. Emotionally upset (i.e.: anger, fear, etc.) 


Opponent's reaction time is lengthened: 


1. Immediately after the completion of a technique. 

2. When his stimuli are combined. 

3. When he is inhaling. 

4. When he withdraws his energy (involves attitude). 

5. When his attention or sight is misdirected. 

6. Generally, when he is physically or mentally off-balance. 


Warming up, physiological condition and degree of motivation, all affect general 
reaction time. 

Movement Time 

Movement time may be compared to fencing time. A period of fencing time (temps 


60 



QUALITIES 


d'escrime) is the time taken by a fencer to perform one simple fencing movement. 
Such simple fencing action may be a single arm movement or a step forward. 


The time taken to make a simple movement will vary according to the speed of the 
individual fighter. 


Making an unexpected attack or the removal of the blade as the opponent is about to 
engage it are examples of actions executed in time . 


It is not necessary to execute an action in time with a quick or violent motion. A 
movement that starts from rest without obvious preparation and proceeds smoothly 
without hesitation may be so unexpected that it succeeds in hitting the opponent 
before he is alerted. 


Cause the opponent to lose a movement time: 

1. By jamming him to disturb his rhythm. 

2. By checking and controlling him (immobilization). 

3. By drawing a preliminary reaction from him in the first half of your attack 

4. By deflecting his movement and scoring. 


An action, although technically perfect, can be frustrated by the opponent’s preventive 
hits. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to time the attack at exactly the right moment, 
psychologically or physically, when the opponent cannot avoid being hit. 


Thus, timing means the ability to recognize the right moment and seize the opportunity 
for an action. Timing can be analyzed through its physical, physiological and psycho- 
logical aspects. 

# A hit may be made as the opponent is preparing or planning to move. 

# A hit may land when the opponent is in the midst of a movement. 

# A hit may land in the fluctuating cyclic events of tension. 

# A hit may be made when the opponent is not paying attention, when his 
concentration flags. 


A good fighter 
must sense rather 
than perceive his 
chance to strike. 


This perfect moment may be either seized instinctively or provoked consciously. A 
good fighter must sense rather than perceive his chance to strike. 

61 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Timing a 
blow is the secret 
of powerful 
hitting. 


Timing Exercises: 

1. Practice keeping the proper distance. 

2. Attack when your partner changes position or is retracting his weapon. 

3. Practice the evasive thrust , a simple attack in time against the opponent’s 
attempt at engagement. The evasive thrust must be practiced against the 
simple, semi-circular and circular engagement. 


Aim at quick hitting and do not sacrifice speed for power. A terrific kick and a power- 
ful punch depend on two things: (a) leverage, (b) timing. Timing is an integral part 
of leverage, but the reverse is not the case. One does not need strength or weight to hit 
hard. Timing a blow is the secret of powerful hitting . 


Timing one’s blows in boxing means the art of hitting the rival as he comes forward or 
perhaps is lured into coming forward. The good fighter seems to out-guess his adver- 
sary and, whenever possible, takes the initiative and influences the reaction of his oppo- 
nent. Then, his actions are carried out purposefully and without hesitation „ This 
requires confidence and no one — repeat , no one — can be a really heavy hitter through 
perfect timing unless he has complete faith in his own ability. 


Broken Rhythm 

Ordinarily, two fighters of equal ability can follow each other’s movements and, unless 
there is a considerable difference in speed, they are very likely to stalemate each other. 
The movements of attacking and defending work almost in rhythm with each other. 
They have a sequential relationship which makes the proper timing of each movement 
dependent on the previous movement. Although there is a slight advantage in the initia- 
tive of the attack, it must also be backed by superior speed in order to land successfully. 
However, when the rhythm is broken, speed is no longer the primary element in the 
success of the attack or counterattack of the man who has broken the rhythm. If the 
rhythm has been well established, there is a tendency to continue in the sequence of 
the movement. In other words, each man is u motorset ” to continue the sequence. The 
man who can break this rhythm by a light hesitation or an unexpected movement can 
now score an attack or counterattack with only moderate speed; his opponent is motor- 
set to continue with the previous rhythm and before he can adjust himself to the 
change, he has been hit. That is why the stroke on time is usually a pretty stroke, for 
it seems to catch its victim flatfooted. 


Timing has to be felt and mastered as a psychological problem, even more than as a 
fighting problem, for the breaking of the rhythm relies on the fact that the victim is 
going to continue for a fraction of a second in the sequence of movements which has 
suddenly been interrupted. 


62 


QUALITIES 


Sometimes, timing involves attacking with many threatening movement, (feints). If the 
defender accepts this rhythm and attempts to parry these various threats, then a slight 
hesitation will break the rhythm and provide the opportune moment to launch the final 
attack. On other occasions, when your opponent is in the midst of making advances or 
threatening movements on his own account, you may succeed in breaking the rhythm 
by first apparently reacting as he expects and then suddenly launching a counterattack 
when he thinks you should be following his feint . You should land, for he is motorset 
to continue with his threats and cannot adjust himself to the necessity of parrying until 
after you have scored. In general, timing here means that you initiate your attack or 
movement when your opponent has started preparation of an attack. Thus, timing 
becomes a question of taking advantage of the slight interval before he can readjust 



Any attack performed halfway through the opponent’s movement is said to occur on 
the half-heat. When the fighter lulls his opponent’s rhythm by inducing or performing 
one full-count movement, he may then “break the trance 1 ’ by striking on the half-beat, 
[his broken rhythm method will often cat eh the opponent mentally and physically off 
oalance for defense. 


A correctly 
judged cadence 
permits the calm 
control of even 
stroke. 


Cadence 

Speed, regulated to coincide with the adversary's, is known as “cadence." It is the 
specific rhythm at which a succession of movements is executed. 


A correctly judged cadence permits the calm control of every stroke. This control will 
allow the fighter to select, with more ease, the movements of offense and defense which 
will bring about a hit. 


Remember that to land a hit, the defense has to be avoided . Excessive speed can catch 
up with the opponent’s parries. The attacker is then known as “having parried 
imself.” 


63 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



That little frag- 
ment of time (one 
beat in a cadence) 
which is the most 
suitable to accom- 
plish effective ac- 
tion is called 
“tempo/ 1 


Ideally, a fighter should seek to impose his cadence on an opponent. This may be 
achieved by intentionally varying the cadence of his own movements . For example, he 
can .deliberately establish a certain rhythm in his feints in a composite attack until the 
defender is induced to follow that cadence. 


By obtaining an edge of speed on the adversary, the fighter may lead him. In other 
words, it is the adversary who continually will have to try to catch up. If one has a 
sufficient margin of speed on hand, it is possible to maintain this advantage. To do so 
must have a moral effect on the opponent who, finding himself subjected to his adver- 
sary’s will in this important factor of speed, cannot fail to suffer in his confidence. 


The preparation by a series of false attacks and feints, executed at a normal rhythm, 
has the effect of lulling the opponent into a false sense of preparedness. It accustoms 
his reactions to a cadence other than that which will be used for the attack itself. 
Then, the movements comprising the final attack are suddenly accelerated and more 
likely to find him lagging behind. 


A very effective change of cadence is to slow down , instead of speed up, the final action 
of a compound attack or riposte. This slowing of cadence can be pictured as a strike 
whose delivery is begun, halted in its path forward and continued when the adversary 
leaves the threatened line for another in the hope of finding the hand. 


Speed, applied at the opportune moment , together with the correctly judged cadence 
in the execution of the movement, will go a long way toward ensuring the success of a 
stroke. 


Tempo 

The success of a movement, defensive or offensive, depends on whether we perform it 
at the right time or not. We must surprise our opponent and catch the moment of his 
helplessness. 


That little fragment of time (one beat in a cadence) which is the most suitable to 
accomplish effective action is called “tempo. ” 


From a psychological point of view , the moment of surprise and, from the physical 
point of view , the moment of helplessness are the right moments to attack. This is the 
true conception of tempo — choosing the exact psychological and physical moment of 
weakness in an opponent . 


64 


QUALITIES 


There are also tempo opportunities when the opponent makes conscious movement, 
that is, when he steps forward, makes an invitation, goes into a bind, etc. In such and 
similar cases, the moment for attack is when he is executing the movement because 
until he finishes it , he cannot change to the reverse . 


Every action at the peak of the art of fighting is tempo , but be careful that the adver- 
sary does not mislead you by giving false tempo opportunities. 


Attack when your opponent is preoccupied , when he is preparing his offensive, on his 
advance, his absence of touch, his engagement and change of same. Such requires an 
unceasing concentration and vigilance. 


Regard your opponent’s concentration in terms of a graph and attack in the depressions \ 
in his moments of irresolution. 


We must surprise 
our opponent and 
catch the moment 
of his helplessness. 


Stop-hit 

When the distance is wide, the attacking opponent requires some sort of preparation. 
Therefore, attack him on his preparation of attack. 



The choice of time is the supreme factor in the success of an offensive. Develop it. 

Even faultless technique and lightning rapidity will fail if the attack is launched “out of 
time/’ 


The “ how to” is important but to be successful necessitates the “why” and the “when.’' 


A stop-hit is a timed hit made against the adversary at the same time he is making an 
attack. It anticipates and intercepts the final line of attack and is delivered in such a 
way that the executant is covered, either by being in line behind the hit or by supple- 
mentary covering. To ensure success, it must have correct anticipation and timing, plus 
precise placement. 


Essentially, a stop-hit arrests the opponent in the development of his attack. It can be 
direct or indirect. It may be used as he steps forward to kick or punch, when he is pre- 
occupied with feinting, or between two moves of a complicated combination. 

65 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



We can there- 
fore say that 
generally the 
stop-hit is the 
stroke chosen 
to deal with the 
stepping prepa- 
ration . 


Stop-hit 

1 . On the opponent’s preparation of stepping forward. 

2. To stop his attack while his arm is still bent. 

3. When the opponent feints very wide, exposing his guard. 

4, Against an attack with wide, badly directed hand movements. 

5, Before applying immobilization {using a direct or indirect stop-hit). 

6, On the first feint from the on-guard position before lunging with a real 
attack. 


The stop-hit is an excellent means of defense against an opponent (especially against 
his advanced parts and exposed lines) who attacks wildly with insufficient care to 
covering or against one who just comes too close. 


Correct appreciation of time and distance is essential to making an effective stop-hit. 
While it is usually made with a straight thrust or kick, the stop-hit may also be part of 
a disengagement or counter-disengagement, or may be done while ducking or slipping. 


Sometimes the stop-hit necessitates some angulation of the body in order to dominate 
the opponent’s hand. 


The stop-hit oftentimes necessitates a step forward to land ahead of the opponent’s 
focus. It is advisable, at least, to lean forward as if to meet the attacker. 


A stop-hit is more often useful and successful against attacks that begin with a step 
forward, where the margin of time allowing for success is greater than against attacks 
not preceded by a step. We can therefore say that generally the stop-hit is the stroke 
chosen to deal with the stepping preparation. 


A person should train himself to be constantly prepared to make a stop-hit during the 
course of any movement of a phase. The successful introduction of a stop-hit not only 
enables many valuable hits to be scored, but has a devastating moral effect on a forceful 
and confident opponent. Train to stop -hit with great speed and accuracy from a 
variety of angles. 


Counter-time 

It is not wise at all to attack without first having gained control of the opponent's move- 


QUALITIES 


v 


ment time or hand position. Thus, a smart fighter uses every means at his disposal, 
patiently and systematically, to draw the stop-hit. It brings the adversary’s hand or 
leg within his reach and gives him the opportunity to gain control of it. 


The second -intention attack or “ counter-time ” is a premeditated movement generally 
used against a fighter who has formed the habit of continually attempting stop-hits or 
who attacks into the attack; that is to say, one who launches an attack as soon as his 
opponent makes any offensive moment. 


Counter -time is the strategy by which an opponent is induced or provoked to attack in 
tempo , with the object of counter -timing or alternatively taking possession of the oppos- 
ing hand or detaching it and executing a subsequent attack or riposte. It lies not so 
much in drawing the stop-hit as in correctly timing the parry which deflects it. The 
speed of the opponent’s reactions will have to be found and his cadence judged. 


Distance must be judged correctly to minimize the danger of being hit while within 
reach of the opponent in order to land the final movement of the counter-time sequence 
(the riposte). 


The success of a counter-time movement largely depends on concealing one’s real 
intentions and inducing the opponent to make his stop-hit with conviction, so that he 
has little opportunity to recover when it is parried before the riposte lands. 


The stop-hit may be drawn in a variety of ways: 

# By use of invitation (simply exposing targets) 

# By intentionally uncovered feints 

# By making false attacks with a half -lunge or merely by stepping forward. 


It might be wise to riposte with opposition by immobilizing the opponent’s stop-hit or 
alternate weapons, or by attacking in an evasive manner (i.e.: From varying body posi- 
tions or using other than direct attacks). 


It is not wise 
at all to attack 
without first hav- 
ing gained control 
of the opponent’s 
movement time 
or hand position. 


Watch out for his purposely launching a stop-hit as a feint or he will parry the riposte 
and score with a counter -riposte. (He might induce one to use counter -time by show- 
ing an apparent predilection for stop-hitting.) 


67 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



An excellent 
moment to launch 
an attack is when 
the opponent is 
preparing an 
attack. 


Attacks and ripostes, however well-designed and executed, will generally fail unless they 
are delivered at the right moment (timing) and at the right speed (cadence), A simple 
example of the right choice of time is provided by an attack by disengagement. From 
the normal on -guard position, a disengagement can be parried by a lateral movement of 
the hand which travels a matter of a few inches, while the attacker’s hand has to travel 
several feet to reach the target* Under these conditions, the fastest attack should be 
parried by an even, slow defensive movement* This disparity in time will be aggravated 
if the attack is directed on a side of the target toward which the defender’s hand is 
already moving to close the line. 


It is obvious that the attack should be timed to move toward a part of the target from 
which the opponent's hand is moving , that is, into an opening rather than a closing line , 
if it is to have the best chance of overcoming the disadvantage of time and distance to 
which it is always subject. 


Similarly, an excellent moment to launch an attack is when the opponent is preparing 
an attack. His intention and hand movements will then be momentarily concentrated 
more on attack than defense. 


An attack on preparation is often effective against an opponent who maintains a par- 
ticularly accurate distance measure and who is difficult to reach because he keeps just 
out of attacking distance whenever an offensive movement is made. The attack can be 
made after the opponent has been drawn within distance and induced to prepare an 
attack by a short step back* 


An attack on preparation must not be confused with an attack into an attack. The 
former is made during the preparation and before the opponent’s attack begins, while 
the attack into an attack is, in fact, a counter-offensive movement. A very exact choice 
of distance and careful timing is required if the attack on preparation is to obtain 
priority in time over the opponent’s attack* 


ATTITUDE 

The state of the athlete’s mind as he faces his event determines the degree of excess ten- 
sion he will carry into the event. The athlete free from excess tension as he awaits his 
performance is typically self-confident. He has what is commonly known as iC a winning 
attitude” He sees himself as master of the athletic situation confronting him. To many 
athletes, being a champion is a matter of “psychological necessity,” Fed by previous 
successes and having completely rationalized previous failure, he feels himself a Triton 
among minnows. 


68 



QUALITIES 


As an event approaches, the athlete often notices a feeling of weakness in his midsection 
{butterflies in his stomach), feels nauseated and may vomit; his heart pounds, he may 
experience pain in his lower back. The experienced athlete recognizes these sensations 
not as an inner weakness, but as an inner surplus. These signs indicate a preparedness 
for violent activity. In fact, the athlete who expresses a feeling of euphoria before an 
event is probably in a poor state of readiness. Many athletes call it “adrenalburger ” a 
conditon affected by adrenomedullary activity, augmented by the stimulating effect 
of the competitive situation. 


if emotional control is not well-learned, critical moments in the fight when the emo- 
tional tension is highest will result in loss of skill by the fighter. His muscles suddenly 
must work against his own over -tense antagonistic muscles. He becomes stiff and 
clumsy in his movements. Expose yourself to various conditions and learn. 


Experience shows that an athlete who forces himself to the limit can keep going as long 
as necessary. This means that ordinary effort will not tap or release the tremendous 
store of reserve power latent in the human body. Extraordinary effort, highly emo- 
tionalized conditions or a true determination to win at all costs will release this extra 
energy. Therefore, an athlete is actually as tired as he feels and, if he is determined to 
win, he can keep on almost indefinitely to achieve his objective. The attitude, “You 
can win if you want to badly enough,” means that the will to win is constant. No 
amount of punishment, no amount of effort, no condition is too “tough” to take in 
order to win. Such an attitude can be developed only if winning is closely tied to the 
practitioner’s ideals and dreams. 


The real competi- 
tor is the one who 
gives all he has, 
all the time. 


A practitioner must learn to perform at top speed all the time, not to coast with the 
idea that he can “open up” when the time comes. The real competitor is the one who 
gives all he has, all the time. The result is that he works close to his capacity at all times 
and in so doing, forms an attitude of giving all he has. In order to create such an atti- 
tude, the practitioner must be driven longer, harder and faster than normally would be 
required. 


Use attitude to create: 

1. Evasiveness with very light movement (but not passive! !) 

2. Devastating attacks 
3> Speed 

4. Natural dynamics 

5. Deception and slipperiness 

6. Stickiness and directness 

7. Complete ease 


TAO OP JEET KUNE DO 



TOOLS 

Before I studied the art , a punch to me was just a punchy a 
kick was just a kick. After Vd studied the art , a punch was 
no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I 
understand the art, a punch is just a punch , a kick is just a kick . 


70 



TOOLS 


Western boxing is too over-daring because of restrictions on illegal and “unfair” tactics 
as compared to the over -protectiveness of the Oriental martial arts caused by the no- 
hold -barred, full bodily target. In addition, the no-contact practice of stopping the 
attacks several inches in front of the target in the Oriental martial arts creates a 
habitual false sense of distance. From this dust waving act in front of a moving target 
rather than the timed explosion through a moving target springs negligence in the prac- 
tice of evasive tactics. The evasive tactics are so much a part of an aggressive art such as 
boxing. Slips, ducks, weaves are all a sort of aggressive defense without moving the 
body out of range. 


In realistic, total fighting, we must embody the practical elements of both of the above 
tactics. We must use range as a protective device as well as use the evasive tactics of in- 
fighting. Neither by itself is reliable enough for success in total fighting. 


Evasive tactics combined with punishment can be applied in no -ho Id -barred fighting 
during the opponent’s final extended commitment and during the gaps between two 
progressive exertions toward you. These tactics will serve to take the play away from 
an aggressor or will initiate grappling. 


In boxing, it is a correct maxim that a good offense is the best defense. A good offense 
consists of leads ; false moves and counterpunches supported by mobility , pressure and 
generalship. 


It is a correct 
maxim that a 
good offense is 
the best defense. 


A good boxer is able to beat his opponent to the punch with lightning fast leads and 
draw out his opponent^ counterpunches with feints in such a way as to make the 
counter punches miss. The opponents miss leaves him out of position and an easy tar- 
get for a counterpunch from the boxer doing the leading. 


It is the ability to outsmart an opponent and out-maneuver him that is the skill and 
science of the sport of boxing. To have this ability, you must understand hitting (and 
kicking) and the different types of blows (and kicks) there are, and when and where 
each type is best put to use. You must develop combinations of punches (and/or kicks) 
that work well. As the result of long practice, you must become able to put your full 
weight and strength into your punch (and kick). You must deliver the right blow at 
the proper time, automatically. 


When you have developed hitting (and kicking) into something automatic, it will become 
instantaneous and your mind will be free to plan your battle as the fight progresses and 
new situations arise. You can only reach this point of development if you have been 


71 


TAG OF JEET KUNE DO 



Attack by 
deception, 
especially, 
is the attack 
of the master. 


willing to do the necessary training. That training grind is the most valuable thing box- 
ing has to offer. 


The elements of attack are all used to carry the attack through strategy, requiring speed, 
deception, timing and judgment. They are the tools of the master craftsman who blends 
them into perfect attacks. 


Attack by deception, especially, is the attack of the master. The master boxer has at 
his command techniques that bewilder and confuse the opponent, thereby creating 
many openings. He feints his opponent into “knots.” He combines hitting with feints 
in such a manner that both appear to be the same. He draws his opponent to him, forc- 
ing whatever he desires . Through defensive hitting and judicious movement, he keeps 
his opponent off-balance . The master boxer has the ability to get in close and under- 
stands the value of in-fighting. He has so perfected the shift that it is used for attack as 
well as defense. Finally, he is the master of counter- fighting, for he knows when to 
attack and when to allow attack . Scientific attack, then, is no simple matter, but re- 
quires years of study and practice for its successful use. 


In the process of attack, there are four basic methods that you will use often: leading, 
feinting, drawing and in -fighting. 


Leading 

The master of attack must know the value of a straight lead . He must know what is 
liable to happen on any lead. He realizes that for every lead, there is an opening and for 
every opening, a counter and for every counter, a parry or a counter -time. These things 
he understands, but he also knows how and when to lead with comparative safety. 


Leading with the forward hand, guarding with the rear hand, while moving to the side, 
makes negligible any opening that ordinarily results from a straight forward lead with 
the hand. 


Feinting 

Feinting is characteristic of the expert fighter. It requires using the eyes, the hands, the 
body and the legs in a single effort to deceive an opponent. These movements are really 
decoys and if the opponent attempts to adjust his defense, the expert takes advantage 
of the openings created. Feinting is also used to ascertain what the opponent’s reaction 
will be to each movement. 


72 



TOOLS 


Feinting creates only momentary openings. To be able to take advantage of these open- 
ings means instant reflex action or foreknowledge of what openings will be created by 
an 1 tain feints. Such familiarity is presupposed by practice, for only through the actual 
practicing of many feints against many kinds of opponents may a general reaction 
tendency be determined. If an opening is created by a certain feint, that opening should 
not be used until a clean, sure blow will result. A good fighter knows what openings 
will result before he feints and makes use of his knowledge by initiating his follow-up 
action almost before the opening results. Whenever two fighters of equal speed, 
strength and skill are matched, the one who is the master of the feint will be the 
winner . 


The essential elements in feinting are rapidity , change , deception and precision y followed 
by clean crisp blows. Feints used too often in the same way will enable the opponent 
to time them for a counterattack, thus defeating their very purpose. 


Feints against the unskilled are not as necessary as against the skilled. Many different 
combinations of feints should be practiced until they are natural movements. 


Drawing 

Drawing is closely allied to feinting. Whereas in feinting an opening is created, in draw- 
ing some part of the body is left unprotected in order that a particular blow will be led 
by the opponent, thus developing the opportunity to use a specific counter. 


Whenever two 
fighters of equal 
speed, strength 
and skill are 
matched, the 
one who is the 
master of the 
feint will be 
the winner. 


Feinting is only a part of drawing. Drawing uses the method of strategy and the method 
of crowding or forcing. Being able to advance while apparently open to attack, but 
ready to counter if successful, is a phase of fighting that few ever develop. Many 
fighters refuse to lead. Then, to be able to draw or force a lead becomes very 
important. 


In-fighting 

This is the art of fighting at close range. Not only does it take skill to get in close, but 
it takes skill to stay there. To get inside, it is necessary to slip, bob and weave, draw 
and feint. 


Because of the many variables, fighting is a careful game. It should be readily under- 
stood that each hit must be painstakingly and patiently prepared. Yet, it is generally 
fatal to start a bout with a set plan. Stay actively aware, but ever flexible. 

73 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



You must deliver 
the right blow at 
the proper time, 
automatically. 


SOME WEAPONS FROM JKD 


LEG TECHNIQUES 
A SIDE KICK (Primarily lead leg) 

1. Downward side kick 
(shin/knee and thigh) 

2. Parallel side kick 

(ribs, stomach, kidneys, etc.) 

3. Upward side kick 

4. Angle-in high side kick 
(right lead to left stance 
and vice versa) 

5. Angle-in low side kick 

6. Slide-in drop side kick 
(upward or parallel thrust) 

7. Step-back shin/knee side kick 
(counter) 

8. Leaping side kick 

9. Reverse shin/knee stop-kick 
(with arch of rear foot) 

B. LEADING STRAIGHT KICK 
1 4 Toe kick 

(lead and counter to groin) 

2. High straight kick 

3. Medium straight kick 

4. Low straight kick 

5. Angle-in straight kick 

6. Rising straight kick 
(to knee or wrist) 

7. Step-back straight kick 

8. Leaping straight kick 

9. Downward front cross stomp 

a REVERSE STRAIGHT KICK 

1. High reverse straight kick 

2. Medium reverse straight kick 

3. Low reverse straight kick 

4. Angle-in reverse straight kick 
(high, medium, low) 

5. Step-back reverse straight kick 

6. Reverse cross stomp 

D HOOK KICK 

1. Leading hook (high, medium, low) 

2. Reverse hook (high, medium, low) 

3. Leading one-two hook 


4. Reverse one-two hook 

5. Double leaping hook 

6. Step-back hook 

7. Vertical hook 

8. Inverted hook 

E. SPIN BACK KICK 

1. High spin back kick 

2. Medium spin back kick 

3. Low spin back kick 

4. Step -back spin back kick (counter) 

5. Leaping spin back kick 

6. Vertical spin back kick 

7. Spin back wheel kick (360°) 

R HOOKING HEEL KICK 
(stiff-legged or bent) 

1. High hooking heel kick 

2. Medium hooking heel kick 

3. Low hooking heel kick 

4. Leading one-two hooking heel kick 

5. Reverse one-two hooking heel kick 
(with rear foot) 

G. KNEE THRUST 

1* Leading upward knee thrust 

2. Leading inward knee thrust 

3. Reverse upward knee thrust 
(rear knee) 

4. Reverse inward knee thrust 
(rear knee) 

HAND TECHNIQUES 

A. LEADING FINGER JAB 

1 . Long-range finger jab 
(high, medium, low) 

2. Close-range finger jab 
—the poke 

3. Corkscrew finger fan 

B. STRAIGHT LEADING 
PUNCH AND JAB 

1. High straight lead 

2. Medium straight lead (to body) 

3. Low straight lead 

4. Slanting right 


74 



TOOLS 


5. Slanting left 

6. Double straight lead 

C. LEADING HOOK 

1. High lead hook 

2. Medium lead hook 

3. Low lead hook 

4. Tight 

5. Loose 

6. Upward (shovel) 

7. Horizontal 

8. Forward and downward 
(corkscrew) 

9. Palm hook 

D. REAR CROSS 

1. High rear cross 

2. Medium rear cross 

3. Low rear cross 

4. Overhand downward stroke 
(corkscrew hook or palm) 

5. Upward groin strike 

E. BACK FIST 

1 . High backfist 

2. Medium backfist 

3. Low backfist 

4. Vertical backfist 
(upward, downward) 

5. Stiff-armed 
(big backfist) 

E QUARTER SWING (shortened arc) 

1. With palm 

2. With back of fist 

3. Reverse quarter swing (rear hand) 

4. With finger fan 

G. UPPERCUT 

1. High uppercut 

2. Medium uppercut 

3. Low uppercut (bolo to groin) 

4. Reverse ridge hand to groin 

H, RE VERSE SPIN BLO W 

1. With bottomfist 

2. With forearm 


3. With elbow 

4. Double spinning blow 

L HAMMER BLOW 

1 . Left hammer 

2. Right hammer 

3* Downward hammer 

ELBOW TECHNIQUES 

1. Upward elbow 

2. Downward elbow 

3. Twisting downward 

4. Backward elbow 

5. Smashing right 

6. Smashing left 
HEAD BUTT 

1* Lunging forward 
2> Lunging backward 

3. Lunging right 

4. Lunging left 
ETC. 

GRAPPLING 

1. Wrestling: Strangulation (hair control) 

Leg tackles 
Tie-ups 

2. Judo: Joint locks 

Chokes 

Leverage timing 

MENTAL CULTIVATION 

1. Krishnamurti 

2. Zen 

3. Taoism 


CONDITIONING 
1- General: Running 
Flexibility 

2. Specialized: Boxing 

Kicking 

Wrestling 

3. Strength: Weights 

Special apparatus 

NUTRITION 

1. Break down/build up 

2. Muscular diet 


It is the ability 
to outsmart an 
opponent and 
out- maneuver 
him that is the 
skill and science 
of the sport 
of boxing. 


75 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Choices of 
Target in terms 
of easiness, safety 
and efficiency 


KICKING 



What are the Choices of Target in terms of easiness, safety, efficiency? 

a) hook: (1) R-stancer’s frontal knee 

( 2 ) R-stancer ’s gro in 

(3) R-stancer’s head 

(4) L-stancer's knee 

(5) L-stanceris head 

[Note: investigate body feel to inflict force on unfamiliar but direct target 
areas on R and L-stancer. Remember L-rear hook.] 

b) side: (1) R-stanceris shin /knee 

(2) L-stancer 5 s shin/knee 

[Note: Close-range downward thrust (instep, shin, knee) — also cross 
stomp.] 

c) reverse hook: (1) L-stancer’s frontal knee 

(2) R-stancer’s knee 

d) lead forward thrust: look into knee, groin 

e) L-( rear) forward thrust 

f) L-spin kick 

g) vertical hook kick 

h) R-finger jab — 3 ways 

i) R-jab — (3 ways and high/low) 

j) R-hook — high/low 

k) R-back fist — high /low 

l) left cross — high /low 

m) right bottom fist (forward hand) 

n) L (rear) bottom fist — (reverse, spin) 

o) possible combinations of kicks 

(1 ) natural follow-up 

( 2 ) trained follow-up 

p) possible combinations of hands 


76 




TOOLS 



A good offense 
consists of leads, 
false moves and 
countei-punches 
supported by 
mobility, pres- 
sure and gen- 
eralship. 







TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



In realistic, 
total fighting, we 
must embody the 
practical elements 
of evasion and 
aggression. 


Savate's Purring Kick — (circular or upward force) 

a) Knee does not have mobility like upper body. 
1 b) Thrown to the front and rear. 

Quickest (economic), most powerful 
(natural) and hardest to move away from, 
d) Heel normally makes contact. Experiment 
making contact with the ball of the foot. 
Sometimes it is necessary to bypass the 
front to attack the rear weight-bearing leg. 
The more weight on the leg, 
the more damage to the knee. 



Kicking technique must: 

1) have a sense of powerful ease, developed through practice and 
supplementary exercises. 


78 


TOOLS 


2) be able to adjust height in initiation. 

3) be economically sudden in initiation. 

4) have smooth speed. 

5) be able to blend with any movement. 

6) be direct and instantaneous in relaying tool part to target area. 

7) be accurate and precise. 


Functions of the longest kicks — 

1) Primarily to reach a more distant target 

2) As a destructing tool 

3) To bridge the gap for another kick or hand technique 

The kick you use will vary according to the type of opponent you face. 


The attacking lunge (step and slide and all the attacking steps) must: 

1) facilitate a speedy recovery out of range of a counterkick, should the attack 
fail. The slightest loss of balance or control may mean that some part of a 
counterkick target has been left unprotected for a fraction of a second. 

2) be able to overcome the long measure with speed, economy and control. 

3) have an element of surprise, catching the opponent off guard mentally or 
physically. 

4) be driven with great determination and speed /power once initiated. 

5) use maximum reach to kick the target (3/4 bend or more, especially in 
attack). That extended distance is what makes an all kicking attack possible. 

6) utilize intense grace and awareness, comparable to the hand, and explode 
with killing power — that’s the art of kicking. 


Western boxing 
is too over-daring 
because of re- 
strictions on 
illegal and U un- 
fair” tactics. 


Develop power on the spot — 

a) During combinations with the same leg. 

— high/low hook and shin/knee side 

— high /low and angle-in hook kick 

b) During alternate leg kicking. 

c) During reaching, extended reaching, hooking. 

d) During close-range thrusting. 

— Apply close-range side kick downward to avoid jamming and to add a 
powerful tool. 

— Consider kneeing in close-range and stomping while maintaining 
balanced posture. 


Develop “body feel” (distance, timing, releasing, etc.) of tossing your tool part at a 
moving target while moving yourself. Learn to relay your weapon part while you are 
in motion. 


79 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 


fj 

A 



a) 

b) 

c) 

d) 

e) 


Heel — straight, side, cross 
Ball — upward, straight, sides 
Toe 
Instep 

Both sides — sideswipe motions of hooking, f|ri| 

reaping, sweeping 


“Vj/if 1 



of 


Combine kicking with all phases of footwork. 

a) Advance , all types 

b) Retreat, all types 

c) Circling left, all types 

d) Circling right, all types 

e) Parallel moving 


HfeL. 


Notes on the speed kick — Like a cobra, the fast kick should be felt and not seen. 


Use the speedy Use the speedy delivery of kicks to “jump” your opponent’s consciousness. Find an 
delivery of kicks attitude of loosening antagonistic muscles prior to delivery, a “continuous waiting” 

to “arrest” your attitude rather than a “preparatory” one. Use the speedy delivery of kicks to “arrest” 

opponent’s “mov- your opponent’s “moving away from neutrality.” 
mg away from 

neutrality.” 

“Watch” the delivery, landing and recovery with continuous awareness , reinforcing all 
with “watchful” hand guards. 


Balancing center — 


Y V 


Initiation: 

a) looseness in neutrality 

b) economical start that blends with neutrality 

c) playful looseness (mental) 
and smooth speed (physical) 


Transition: 

a) clear sight 

b) neutrality 

c) regulated balance 

d) tight defense 



TOOLS 


Landing: 

a) well-timed collision with right part of tool 

b) natural releasing of coordinated destructive force 


Recovery: 

a) flowing back to neutrality or flow on with attack 

b) reinforcement with “watchfulness” 


Which are the safety “speed” lead kicks used as pace setters, respect getters, distance 
gougers? How much faster can you make them without turning them into “flickiness?” 
Note: Use the boxing jab as a guideline. For instance, you wouldn't use the rear hook 
unless you are pretty certain of securing distance and opponent’s condition. Learn how 
not to let the opponent take advantage of your commitment. Psyche your opponent, 
physically and mentally, by inflicting pain. 


List kicks that snap from the knee such as: 
groin hook kick (inward snap) 
reverse hook (outward snap) 
upward snap kick 
straight forward snap kick 


List kicks that thrust from the hips such as: 
side thrust kick 
back thrust kick 
front thrust kick 


Look into snapping a kick from the knee to get more power, or snapping a kick from 
the hip and knee to get more speed. Test both in long, medium (natural firing distance) 
and close range. 


What are the pacing kicks that are snappy and combine with quick retreat? 

Note: They should slow the pursuer by hitting into his line of movement while you are 
moving off his line of force. 


What are the pacing kicks that jam? 

Note: Work out precautions for being grabbed, 

81 


Psyche your op- 
ponent, physical- 
ly and mentally, 
by inflicting pain. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Learn delaying 
destructive force” 
to “where” the 
target is or 
is headed* 


What are the close-range kicks that thrust and that snap? 
Note: Work out natural hand or leg follow-ups. 

Possible Angle Positions of Front Leg: 



Note: Learn “relaying destructive force” to “where” the target is or is headed. Use 
“body feel” as your guideline. 


Possible Angle Positions of Rear Leg: 



What are the strongest kicks in terms of destructive power? 
What are those that can most easily score on the opponent? 

KICKING METHODS 
— Upward 
— Downward 
— Outside in 
— Inside out 
— Straight on 


82 


TOOLS 


Examples with front leg kicks: 

Instep Upward Groin Kick — (upward force) 
(close-range/medium-range) 



Vertical Hook — (upward force) 
(medium range) 



Use “body feel” 
as your guideline. 



High — Medium — Low 
Long — Medium — Close Range 



instep 

ball 

shin 

inside foot swipe 


83 



O OF JEET KUNE DO 

Learn what muscles are involved in this kick and how to limber the parts. 



Important: Relax timing muscles but keep an overall alertness of position and timing. 


Look into using the ball of the foot for attacking the shin, knee or instep. 


Reverse Hook Kick — (inside out) 



Side Kick “ (straight on, upward, downward, inside angle) 


Learn the most 
efficient bridging 
of distance, plus 
efficient timing 
with the oppo- 
nent’s movement. 



Range: long 

medium 

close (downward stomp) 

In combat: The side kick is best utilized by directing 
it downward. 


Develop in the side kick a sense of “delicate ease.” 


SHIN /KNEE KICKS 
Metnods: 

— Straight on 

— Straight down * 

— Inside out (such as reverse hook kick) 

— Outside in (such as hook kick) 

Decide which shin/knee kicks are progressively longer: 

— shin/knee side 

— shin/knee hook 

— shin/knee reverse hook 

— straight on shin/knee (front and rear) 


34 


All should be done with speed and sudden economy in mind, as well as with power. 
Learn the most efficient bridging of distance, plus efficient timing with the opponent’s 
movement. 


TOOLS 


The Leading Shin/Knee Side Kick 

This kick can be an explosive, crispy thrust or a pushing thrust to wrench the opponent’s 
knee while bringing the gap for a leg or hand follow-up. It has a very demoralizing effect 
and causes the opponent to attack less confidently. It also imposes respect of distance. 


As an attack — to a right stancer 



StnfLB attack 



Cross Stomp - (downward force) 


Front Leg: 


Rear Leg: 


The kick has a 
very demoraliz- 
ing effect and 
causes the op- 
ponent to attack 
less confidently. 



Name kicks that can be initiated without changing on -guard positioning before and /or 
after, such as: hook kick, side kick, vertical hook and reverse hook. 



Front leg path without changing 
on-guard position too much. 


B Rear leg path without changing 
on-guard position too much. 


(Note: 


The straight 


A 


has many slight variations of path.) 


85 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



iave that sudden 
economy be the 
guideline at the 
drop of a dime. 


Of these economy kicks, which, besides the hook kick, go for absolute speed? 

' ™ ' 1 1 17 

Guard from flickiness — find a happy medium , however, with speed in mind. Work on 
that particular initiation economy and not just on those kicks with non-changing, on- 
guard movements. Instead, have that sudden economy be the guideline at the drop of 
a dime. 

Powerful Kicks With Non-Commitment 


Note; Use speedy delivery. 



Small Phasic Bent Knee Economic Initiation Find the point for quick recovery to 
Position (neutral) neutrality, (This concerns all kicks.) 



Learn how to cover initiation and the quick recovery to neutrality. Covering should be 
automatic and continual. 


Name kicks that involve the absolute changing of on -guard positioning before and/or 
after initiation. 


Study the leverage in still initiation. 


86 



TOOLS 


Master kicking quickly and powerfully from high, low or ground posture. Develop body 
feel and efficient form in dropping suddenly to fast, powerful kicks while advancing, 
retreating, circling left, circling right. Learn to use “energy flow” to rise from unaccus- 
tomed squatting positions* 




Develop the ability to apply a sweep with the economy of a kick* Look into initiating 







You must de- 
velop combina- 
tions of punches 
(and/or kicks) that 
work well. 


the foot sweep, with or without hand work, as a counter or attack at long, medium and 
close range. 


87 





TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Practice foot sweep and take down: (a) from a fast initiation, (b) as part of a combina- 
tion and (c) as a counterattack. 



The leading 
straight punch is 
the backbone of 
all punching in 
Jeet Kune Do. 



x 




-4 'juJL 



-.2. 


>L 


V 




STRIKING 


LEADING STRAIGHT PUNCH 



/ ^4 x 

7o-e 

(jxbe &**) 








ft* 


The leading straight punch is the backbone of all punching in Jeet Kune Do. It is used 
both as an offensive and defensive weapon to “stop” and “intercept” an opponent’s 
complex attack at a moment’s notice. When you are standing right foot forward, your 
right punch and right leg become the main offensive weapons because of their advanced 
position. With your right foot forward, your right hand is much closer to your oppo- 
nent than your left. The reverse is true for the left foot forward stance. When fighting, 
keep your strongest side up front. 


88 



TOOLS 




The leading straight punch is the fastest of all punches. With the minimum movements 
involved in delivery, balance is not disturbed and, because it goes straight toward the 



target, it has a better chance of landing. (The opponent has less time to block.) Also* 
the straight punch is more accurate than other punches. 


No one punch, not even the efficient straight lead, can be an end in itself, though there 
are styles that use nothing but straight line punching. The straight lead is used as a 
means to an end and definitely should be reinforced and supported by other angle 
punches (and kicks), making your weapons more flexible without confinement to any 
one line. After all, a good man should be able to strike from all angles and with either 
hand (or leg) to take advantage of the moment. 


The delivery of the straight punch is different from the traditional classical gung fu. 
First of all, the punch is never positioned on the hip, nor does it start from there. This 
way of delivery is unrealistic and exposes too great an area to protect. Of course, this 
also adds unnecessary distance to travel toward the opponent. 


In Jeet Kune Do, you never strike your opponent with your fist only; you strike him 
with your whole body. In other words, you should not hit with just arm power; the 
arms are there as a means to transmit great force with the correct timing of feet, waist, 
shoulder and wrist motion at great speed. 


The important 
point is not to 
have any classi- 
cal “get-set*’ 
posture or 
preparatory 
movements 
prior to de- 
livering the 
straight punch — 
or any punch 
for that matter. 


Instead of coming from the shoulder, the punch is thrown from the center of the body 
in the form of a vertical fist, thumb up, and straight toward the front- of your own nose 
The nose here is the center guiding line. The wrist is slightly turned downward before 
delivery and is immediately s tmightened upon impact to add a corkscrew effect to the 
opponent. 


The important point is not to have any classical “get-set 5> posture or preparatory move- 
ments prior to delivering the straight punch — or any punch for that matter. The lead- 
ing straight punch is delivered from your ready stance without any added motions like 
drawing your hand back to your hip or shoulder, pulling back your shoulder, etc. Prac- 
tice your lead punch from the ready stance and finish again in the ready stance (not 
back on the hip!). Later on, you should be able to strike from wherever the hand hap- 
pens to be at the moment. Remember, punching in this manner will give you added 


89 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



speed (no wasted motions) and deception (no give-away movements preceding the 
punch). [Use Zen illustration: Eat, but he is thinking; punch, but he is scared or 
rushing. Thus, a punch is not a punch.] 


Most guarding is done with the rear hand — thus, the term “guarding hand.” When 
striking with the lead hand, do not make the common mistake of the traditional, classi- 
cal way by putting your rear hand on your hip. The rear hand is there to supplement 
your lead to make the attack a defensive offense. For example, when striking a body 
blow with the lead hand, the guarding hand (the rear hand) should be held high to offset 
any countering by your opponent to your upper body. In short, when one hand is out, 
the other should be either immobilizing one of the opponent’s arms or withdrawing (not 
all the way to the hip!) for protection against countering and to secure a strategic posi- 
tion for a follow-up. 


All punches 
should end 
with a snap 
several inches be- 
hind the target; 
punch through 
the opponent 
instead of 
at him. 


Relaxation is essential for faster and more powerful punching. Let your lead punch 
shoot out loosely and easily; do not tighten up or clench your fist until the moment of 
impact. All punches should end with a snap several inches behind the target. Thus, you 
punch through the opponent instead of at him. 


After shooting out the lead hand, do not drop it when withdrawing to the ready stance. 
Though you might see this being done by a good man because he is potentially fast and 
good at timing and distance, you should cultivate the habit of returning along the same 
path and keeping that hand high for any possible counters. 


When striking with the lead hand, it is advisable to constantly vary the position of your 
head for added protection against the opponent’s counter. During the first few inches 
of advancing, the head remains in line; after that, the head should adapt. Also, to mini- 
mize counters from the opponent, you should at times feint before leading. However, 
do not overdo the feinting or the headwork. Remember simplicity ;just enough is 
enough. 


Sometimes it pays to use double leads because they are unexpected and the second 
punch tends to disturb the opponent’s rhythm and thus, paves the way for a follow-up. 


90 


When advancing to attack, the lead foot should not land before the fist makes contact 
or the body weight will end up on the floor instead of behind the punch. Remember to 
take up power from the ground by pushing off with the rear foot. 


TOOLS 


Your lead hand should be like greased lightning and must never be held rigidly or 
motionless. Keep it slightly moving (without exaggeration) in a threatening manner, as 



&) 

it not only keeps your opponent on edge, but also can be delivered faster from motion 
than from immobility. Like a cobra, your stroke should be felt before it is seen. This is 
particularly true of the leading finger jab. 


THE ELUSIVE LEAD 


In delivering the lead, the position of the head should be constantly varied, sometimes 
up, sometimes down, and sometimes “neither up nor down.” Sometimes, the rear hand 







can be placed in front of face while leading. (This might entail a loss of reach and 
rapidity.) Keep your opponent guessing — variety — variety! 


Like a cobra, your 
stroke should be 
felt before 
it is seen. 


91 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Straight hitting 
(and straight kick- 
ing) is the founda- 
tion of scientific 
fighting skill. 







NOTE: 

The Sudden Change 
of Level 


Use the first two 
inches to lead, then 
a sudden change- 
head feint. 

Use as defense for: 

1. swings (hands 
feet) 

2. hooks {hands 
feet) 

3, reverse heels 

4, spin kicks and 
blows* 

Use to set-up for 
grappling and tack- 
ling. 



TOOLS 


Necessary qualities of a straight lead: 

1. Perfect balance of body. 

2. Accuracy of aim. 

3. Precise Liming and coordination. 

4. Maximum power of punch. 


The straight lead is the blow that, whether used in attack or defense, leaves its exponent 
in hitting range for a shorter period than any other. 


Most experts make it their principle blow. 


Some fighters are continually making the alternating movements of engaging, then 
making an absence of touch (lowering or drifting the hand). This habit can be used to 
advantage. As the adversary is leaving the blade and moving across to the opposite 
line, the opportunity of making a straight thrust is present. 


For an opponent who lacks decision, one who extends to lead hut brings his hand back 
to the on^uard position, the straight thrust can follow advantageously. 


The above defensive errors, in conjunction with a step forward by the opponent, render 
the straight thrust all the more possible. 


Straight hitting (and straight kicking) is the foundation of scientific fighting skill, it 
devefoped late in history and, therefore, is the product of careful thought. Requiring 
speed and intelligence to use, it travels less distance than round arm blows (or hook and 
spin kicks) and will reach the. mark first. Straight blows (and kicks) are more accurate 
than hooks and swings and allow full use of the arm (and leg) reach. 


Straight hitting is based on an understanding of body structure and the value of leverage 
It is an attempt to use body weight in every blow, hitting with the body and using the 
arms as merely the vehicles of force. Arm action alone is insufficient to give real power 
to blows. Real power, quick, accurate, can be obtained only by shifting the weight in 
such a manner that the hip and shoulder precede the arm to the center line of the body. 


Straight hitting 
is based on an 
unders Landing of 
body structure 
and the value 
of leverage. 


93 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



There* are only two methods which obtain a complete shift of weight (compare this 
with kicking); 

1. A pivot or quick turn of the waist, allowing the hip and shoulder to precede 
the arm. 

2. A full body pivot, shifting the weight from one leg to the other. 


The waist pivot is faster and easier to learn and is used as a basis for teaching the art of 
hitting. 


Hitting does not mean pushing . True hitting may be likened to the snap of a whip - all 
the energy is slowly concentrated and then suddenly released with a tremendous out- 
pouring of power. Pushing is exactly the opposite, with the concentrated force at the 
start of the blow and a subsequent loss of power as the arm leaves the body. In real 
hitting, the feet are always directly under the body. In pushing, the body is often off- 
balance as the force of the blow does not come from a pivot of the body but only from 
a push off the rear foot. 


Power in hit- 
ting comes from 
a quick twist of 
the waist, not a 
swinging, sway- 
ing movement. 


Power in hitting comes from a quick twist of the waist, not a swinging, swaying move- 
ment, but a pivot over the straight lead leg. As long as this straight line is maintained, 
as long as the hips are relaxed and free to swing, as long as the shoulders arc not tensed 
and are turned through to the center line of the body before the arms are extended, 
power will result and hitting will be an art. 


Once the straight line of the lead side of the body is broken, power is lost because the 
straight lead side of the body is the anchor, the pivot point, the hinge from which power 
and force is generated to its greatest height. So great is the power that may be attained 
in this manner that a real artist can deliver a knockout blow without taking a single step 
forward or displaying any apparent effort. 


Pay particular attention to the development of relaxed tension. If you tighten up, you 
lose the flexibility and timing which are so important to successful punches. Keep 
relaxed at all times and remember that liming is your chief aid in making a blow 
effective. 


Punches are not supposed, to be thrown with a wind-up motion. They are made with a 
well-directed forearm and loose shoulder muscles. Only when the punch begins to land 
should the fist be clenched. The momentum helps carry the arm hack to the proper 
position. 


94 



TOOLS 


The top of your shoulder is at the level of the point you are striking. Sometimes it is 
all right to stand on the balls of your feet when landing a head shot on a tall person to 
make your shoulder come to the level of his jaw. When hitting to the pit of the stomach, 
both knees give way until the shoulder is at the level of the pit of the stomach. 


Remember to take up power from the ground through your legs, waist and back. Sway 
all your muscles into your punches (at the same time do your best to cut down motions) 
and make them drive through. Push off from the ground . 


When using a body pivot, turn on the balls of both feet while punching. The fist comes 
straight from the center with the full power of one or the other leg behind it. Some- 
times a quick three or four-inch jump will do the trick. 


According to your position and the time you have to put the right lead punch in, you 
may occasionally take a short step to the left, just a few inches, with your left foot 
(watch out for kicks). This will put even more weight into the punch, especially at 
fairly long range. 


Timing is best when the opponent rushes in. 


Remember, when advancing the foot must not land first or the body weight will rest 
upon the floor instead of being behind the punch — heel slightly raised and pointing 
outward. 


Always have the legs slightly bent so that the strong thigh muscles come into play (like 
a spring), especially before coming in. 


Your step should be long enough to make your reach good and you should drive your 
punch slightly through your target. Use your whole reach! 


To ensure success, the straight hit and the lunge (step) must be one coordinated move. 


Your head should sway slightly to the right as it moves forward with your step. 


Take up power 
from the ground 
through your legs, 
waist and back. 


95 



r 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Endeavor never to flinch or close your eyes, but watch your opponent intently all the 
time. Keep your chin firmly set and nicely tucked away. 


Remember the “covered line"’ (outside or in) and the supplementary guard, always there 
corresponding to the uncovered line. 


Always keep the rear hand guard up! Be ready to follow with the rear hand. 


Follow-Through 

First of all, there are different types of force applications and one should use all of 
them. 


There are differ- 
ent types of force 
applications and 
one should use 
all of them. 


Follow-through generally refers to continuation of a high rate of movement, or even an 
acceleration from the instant of contact, until the ceasing of contact. The punch should 
increase in speed throughout its run and when it lands, still have enough momentum and 
power to drive clear through the object. Do not aim merely to strike at your man; aim 
to drive through him — but do not have a “lean on” effect! 


Make up your mind that you'll hit as hard as you possibly can with every ounce of your 
bodily strength, with every fiber of your mental determination, and also that you'll keep 
on hitting harder and harder as you progress through the object. 


In boxing, for example, the athlete is taught to “strike through” the opponent — to 
maintain or increase the rate of movement during the contact so that the “explosive 
push” carries through farther and changes the opponent’s position more sharply. 


Wrist snaps at the last instant in striking acts are last moment accelerations that literally 
go into the object (i.e.: compressed tennis ball). Instead of a relaxing follow-through, 
the fighter must bring his hands back as fast as he thrusts them out. Reversing the waist 
movement aids in last minute acceleration as well as return. 


Lead to Body 

A lead to the body is an effective blow used to bother the opponent and bring down 
his guard (as the preceding feint of a high lead). 



TOOLS 


While not ordinarily a hard blow, it can cause distress i f driven to the solar plexus. It is 
important that the body follow the arm. In other words, a blow to the body is more 
effective and safer if the executioner sinks to the level of the target. 


Drop the body forward from the waist to a position at right angles to ihe legs. Keep the 
forward leg only slightly bent but the rear leg more completely flexed. As the body 
drops, drive the lead arm into forceful extension toward the opponent’s solar plexus. 

The blow is slightly upward , never downward. The rear hand is carried high in front of 
the body, ready for the opponent’s leading hook. Hold the head down so that only the 
top is visible and will be protected by the extended punching arm. The head should be 
held tight against the extended arm. 


To hit with a straight right lead to the body, feint with the left hand toward the head 
by extending the left hand quickly with a slight forward movement. Step well in with 
the left foot (keeping it still in the rear), and at the same time lean over to the left side. 
You will be practically clear of all danger. The right tliat follows can become a punish- 
ing hit and one difficult to deal with. Furthermore, you are in a position to bring up 
the left to the head with great force. 


Training Aids 

It is most important, after recovering to a boxing position from any set maneuver 
(executed on count or ‘‘as you will”), to shuffle about a few seconds on the balls of 
your feet for footwork drill and relaxation before repeating the set maneuver. This 
tactic deftly simulates actual fighting within the drill. 


The whole secret 
of the actual force 
of a terrific punch 
is its timing, co- 
ordinated, of 
course, with 
the accuracy 
of its aim. 


The whole secret of the actual force of a terrific punch is its timing, coordinated, of 
course, with the accuracy of its aim. Hang a small ball to practice aim. 


Practice shooting the lead out in a quick succession of blows, withdrawing the striking 
arm just sufficient so as to enable' full power to be put behind each blow. 


Learn economical motion of delivery from a variety of angles, then lengthen the 
distance gradually. 


One important point: In all hand techniques , the hand moves first , preceding the foot . 
Keep this in mind — hand before foot - always. 


97 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Defenses for a Straight Lead 

The following are examples of defenses against a straight lead while in a right stance: 

# Have the left hand ready in anticipation of a lead. It is already opened, held 
a little higher than usual and weaves in controlled circles in front of your 
body. Immediately, the lead hand of your opponent flickers on its way to 
your face. Lean slightly to the left and strike firmly and quickly at his wrist 
or forearm with your left hand — no strength whatever is required to deflect 
the heaviest blow this way. Don’t fail to take advantage of the opening. 

Put in a stiff lead to the face or body. Your opponent will be both off-guard 
and off-balance. 

# Sway to the left, stepping in with the right foot and deliver a severe body shot 
with your right hand. (This may be varied by a punch to the face-) 

# Sway to the right, stepping in with the right foot and deliver a heavy left- 
hand punch to the body (or head in a cross -counter). 

# Snap back, then forward with a return. 


The lead jab 
is a “feeler.” It 
is the basis of all 
other blows, a 
loose, easy 
stinger. 


One should always finish punching with his lead hand to enable him to return to the 
correct fighting position instantly. 


Vary the leads to the head and body. 


LEAD JAB 


The lead jab is a “feeler.” It is the basis of all other blows, a loose, easy stinger. It is a 
whip rather than a club. Ah’s theory is to picture hitting a fly with a swatter. 


Its great advantage is that body balance is not disturbed and it is both an offensive and 
a defensive weapon. In offense, the lead jab serves to keep your opponent off-balance 
and paves the way for more severe punching. When used as a defensive blow, the jab 
often stops or effectively meets an attack. You can frequently slip in a sudden and dis- 
concerting jab to the other fellow’s face at the very moment he is about to let go a real 
punch at you. Used correctly, it is the sign of the scientific fighter, who uses strategy 
rather than force. It requires skill and finesse as well as speed and deception (broken 
rhythm). Keep in mind that there is nothing worse than a slow jab, except one which 
is telegraphed. 


98 


It is important that, upon shooting your lead jab, you instantly return your fist to its 
on-guard position, ready to punch again or to protect yourself from a counterpunch. 



TOOLS 


The jab is snapped across, not pushed, and should be brought back high and kept high 
to offset a rear-hand counter. The arms merely relax and sink back to the body rather 
than being pulled back. This is as important as knowing how to deliver. 

At the time of landing the jab, the chin is tucked down and the shoulder is curved 
around the chin as a protective covering. 

In all hitting, including the lead jab, all force is outward from the body. The movement 
of the lead jab should be a continuous winding motion from the shoulder. 

It is often advisable to shoot more than one jab. The second jab has an excellent chance 
of landing (providing the first one was delivered with utmost economy) and it also servos 
to cover up the missed first jab. Of course, you should shoot as many more as you wish. 

Continue to practice the jab until it is a light, easy, natural movement. Carry the shoul 
dcr and arm relaxed and ready at all times. It requires long, diligent, practice to make 
the movement auto matic and to obtain speed and power without apparent effort. 
Accuracy should be the main objective and the str aighter you jab, the better. 

If you cannot get at the opponent's head or body, aim at his bicep. 


The jab may also be effectively used with the fist closed to stiff -arm the opponent away 
from you in defense. 




Keep him on the defensive and increase the pace ever so steadily. Give him no rest. 


In all hitting, 
including the lead 
jab, all force is 
outward from 
the body. 


99 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The finger jab 
is Western sword 
fencing without 
a sword and the 
primary target 
is your oppo- 
nent’s eyes. 


LEADING FINGER JAB 

Like a fencer’s sword that is always in line, the leading finger jab is a constant threat to 
your opponent* Basically, it is Western sword fencing without a sword and the primary 
target is your opponent’s eyes. 


The leading finger jab is the longest of all hand weapons as well as the fastest because of 
the little force needed. You do not need power to jab at an opponent’s eyes* Rather, 
the ability to seize an opportunity with accuracy and speed is the main thing in the 
efficient use of the finger jab. Thus, as in all hand techniques, the finger jab should be- 
gin from your ready position without any added motions. It starts from your ready 
position and back again, like greased lightning. Like a cobra, your finger jab should be 
felt and not seen. 


You should be able to snap, not push, the finger jab out singly or in combination. Unless 
you are naturally fast, your opponent will many times be able to avoid one finger jab 
but you will usually catch him by instantly following the first with a second. The lead- 
ing finger jab is one of the most efficient weapons, especially in self-defense, and should 
be cultivated to the highest form of proficiency. 


Due to the fact that you use shocking flickering force rather than punching force, the 
leading finger jab also (with the point of view on jabbing) is like swatting a fly. Accu- 
racy is what counts. Choose your target during movement and let go to recover with 
ready reinforcements. 


Training Aids 

Practice and sharpen your finger jab when you are fresh or you will begin to substitute 
gross motions for fine ones and generalized efforts for specific economical ones* Leave 
endurance exercises until offer skill training. 

1* “A” and “B” face each other in a ready position* 

2* “A” advances with a low shin kick. This is mainly used as a feint to disturb 

the opponent’s composure and lengthen his reaction time. It also serves to 
obstruct any possible kick during the advance* 

3* As soon as the distance is bridged and slightly before “A’s” lead foot is down 
alongside “B’s” foot, A whips out his finger jab straight as an arrow to "BY’ 
now opened guard* 


Reread the descriptions on the straight lead* 


100 


TOOLS 


STRAIGHT REAR THRUST TO BODY 

The straight rear thrust to the body is a power blow and used either as a counter or after 
a preliminary feint with the leading hand. As in the leading jab to the body, the body 
follows the blow (keep a good defensive position — watch out for a hammer blow 
counter), although added force can be obtained by a body pivot to a position over the 
lead foot. (Examine the difference between the two*) It is effective in pulling down 
an opponent's guard and can be used with great success against the tall fighter. 


This blow should be used more frequently. When properly timed and correctly deliv- 
ered, it is a most punishing blow and a comparatively safe one* since you crouch as you 
drive the punch home, thus avoiding full-arm counters. Opportunities for the use of 
this blow are rather frequent, since it is one of the best counters to the opponent’s 
opposite lead, which exposes one side of his body. 


The front hand is up and open, elbow down, guarding against the opponent’s real - hand. 
The head is down along the punching arm and, thus, well-protected. 


This blow should be frequently employed against an adversary who protects his face 
with the rear hand when “leading” to the head* 


You have a foot of body to shoot at for each inch of chin* Also, the body is less 
mobile. 


When properly 
timed and correct- 
ly delivered, the 
straight rear thrust 
to the body is a 
most punishing 
blow and a com- 
paratively safe 
one* 


Delivering a straight rear thrust to the body: Feint with your lead hand at the head and 
“draw” your opponent’s lead as a counter to your feint, or else, wait for him to lead. 


Stopping a straight rear thrust to the body: Merely press your front arm across your 
l>ody. At the same time, raise your lead shoulder for fear the body blow turns into a 
double hit — “loop hit.” 


REAR CROSS 

In your on-guard position, your rear fist is cocked somewhere under your chin, an inch 
or two out from your chest. When you hit with your lead, the twist at your waist shifts 
your rear fist from its regular on-guard position, back four or five inches to a point from 
which you can, without telegraphing or drawing back, hit one of the hardest blows in 
boxing, the rear cross. 


102 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The rear cross 
is the heavy 
artillery. 


The rear cross is delivered in much the same manner as the lead jab in that it travels in a 
perfectly straight line. The rear cross, however, is the heavy artillery and the twist at 
your waist will be much greater. 


In any power blow, the bone structure must be aligned so as to form one straight body 
side or line which enables it to support the weight of the body, thus freeing the muscles 
to propel the other side of the body forward and create terrific force. One side of the 
body must always form a straight line . 


It is important to make sure your rear heel and rear shoulder turn in one piece. This is 
accomplished by merely shifting the body weight over a straight lead leg, hinging the 
lead side of the body and freeing the opposite side for a forceful turn or explosive pivot. 
It is the same idea as in slamming a door. 


Your weight should begin on the ball of your rear foot. As your rear fist travels, it 
twists and your rear shoulder moves into the blow. You twist at the waist and the 
weight of your body is shifted forward into the punch and to your lead foot before 
connecting . Your rear foot follows by dragging forward a few inches in the direction 
of the punch and your lead fist shifts back as your body twists. 


Remember \ the secret of power in the straight rear cross (or thrust) is using the lead 
side of the body as a hinge and allowing the rear side of the body to swing free . 


Let the blow slip out loose and easy, don’t grip, don’t tighten up the arm at the begin- 
ning of the punch — let the contraction of the muscles come just as the blow lands, with 
a last closing and tightening on the fist, a final burst of nervous energy to drive through 
the opponent. Its force depends on speed (and more speed) and timing with the oppo- 
nent’s movements. Do not forget the drive from the rear leg. 


Keep your hands well up at all times; especially don’t drop the rear hand while punching 
with the lead. Blows should start where the hands are. The start is normally made from 
the on-guard position with no preliminary movement, no lifting or drawing back. The 
shoulder curves over the chin for protection and the chin is down. The rear hand must 
be shot from its testing place” on the chest or body; it generally starts from near the 
rear shoulder. 


As the rear arm is extended, the lead arm is held close to the side in the position of 
guard. This is done not only for an expected counter, but also so the boxer will be in 
position to throw the second follow-up punch. Remember ; one hand out, one hand 



TOOLS 


back. This movement must be practiced until it can be easily, quickly and correctly 
performed. The arm should drive out with such snapping force as would seem to pull 
it clear of the socket. Again, the blow must be driven through , not just at, an object. 
The arm then relaxes back to the on-guard position. 


When using the rear cross, you must not hesitate. If you think you have the opening, 
you should let it fly and not be half-hearted about it. 


Because the rear cross is a long-range blow, to be effective it must be delivered straight 
as an arrow, fast as a shot and completely without warning. The most important part 
of the rear cross is to cultivate a delivery speed so, when you strike, the damage is done 
before your opponent realizes it. You must also be accurate with the straight rear cross 
“ far more accurate than your lead — and the straighter you keep the cross, the more 
accurate and the more explosive it will be. 


Unless you have correct balance , you will not be in a position to deliver a lead shot after 
your rear cross. This is most important, because if your opponent ducks to avoid the 
rear cross, your quickest method of recovery is to throw a lead and you must be in a 
correct position to do so. If you are trying to correct faulty footwork in those split 
seconds, you may well find yourself flat on your back. 


The rear cross is difficult to use because the rear hand has farther to travel and use of 
the rear hand will present an opening for your opponent if you miss. Practice minimiz- 
ing the above two points and, thus, perfect the rear cross — non-telegraphic starting, 
quick recovery. 


In a Right Stance 

Usually, you will hit with your left fist after first having shot a right (one -two). 


Keep the right hand moving ; don’t hold it motionless. Let it flicker in and out like the 
tongue of a snake ready to strike. Above all, always threaten and worry your 
adversary. 


Throw the right out, stepping out with the right foot simultaneously. Before it reaches 
its mark (blocking the sight of the opponent), drive your left fist straight out (without 
pulling it back even a fraction) and twist your body to the right, pivoting on the sole of 
your left foot. As you pivot, get plenty of push and snap from the left side of your 


If you think you 
have the opening, 
you should let fly 
and not be half- 
hearted about it. 


103 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



body, up from the foot, through the legs and hips, and make sure it is capped off by 
plenty of snap from your left shoulder. This power is accentuated by the coordination 
of the whole body in the follow-through. Keep balanced at all times. 


It should be noted that the left (or rear) thrust is often a counterblow. Sometimes it is 
better to feint the opponent into leading to shoot the left as a counter. Here the blow 
is delivered perfectly straight during the opponent's lead at your face. You step inside 
aright lead, allowing it to slip over your left shoulder, and shoot the left, meanwhile 
keeping an eye on his left or putting a stop to it with your right. Your head must be 
ducked forward and to the right, to avoid the opponent’s right lead (keep your eyes on 
him!), but the duck must be very slight, just sufficient to avoid being hit. The left hand, 
back uppermost, should just skim the opponent's elbow before his lead is straightened 
and the swing of the body on the hips, from left to right, should be assisted by jerking 
back the right elbow and shoulder. 


Power is 
accentuated by 
the coord ina l ion 
of the whole body 
in the follow- 
through. 


It generally meets your man coming in and lands on the angle of the jaw. Do not always 
hit at the head, however. Aim toward the center line to drive through the opponent. 


Try a left to the stomach, then left cross. 

Try two right leads to time your left straight. 


Sometimes, move over a little further to the right and shoot the straight left inside his 
arm in a slight upward direction. 


When returning, keep your Jead shoulder raised for a right stan cers left cross or a left 
stan cer ’ s 1c ad hook. 


In-lighting — Short Man Versus Tall Man 

Keep your hands up, elbows close to your body. Bob and weave, moving from side to 
side. Gauge your opponent’s leads — make him miss and get inside his punches by 
ducking, slipping, feinting or “sticking” with controlling hands. A short, straight left, 
rather than a hard, telegraphed one will do the trick. The opportunity is usually there 
but only for an instant — hence, the short, fast left, rather than the looping, hard left. 



TOOLS 


Capitalize on a hooker who either drops the hook upon delivery or throws it in too wide 



an arc. You should shoot over a hard straight left as soon as his right shoulder is 
lowered or the wide arc begins. 


The overhand left is used by small fellows against taller men, Tt travels in a circular 


Capitalize on a 
hooker who either 
drops the hook 
upon delivery 
or throws it in 
too wide an arc. 






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“over” motion into the vicinity of the opposition’s head. The movement must come 
from the shoulder. Vary it with an inward palm stroke. 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Always try to nail a medium-range target (body or head) with stepping straight punches. 
However, if your opponent js blocking, evading or countering those straight blows, you 
can resort to medium-range hooking attempts. 


THE HOOK 

The hook is more effective as a counterblow. It is never a wide, looping blow, but is 
more like a loose, easy, snappy punch. Remember, the pivot is the key; footwork 
makes the punch. 



Avoid telegraphing! Start and end in the ready position. It must begin from the on- 
guard position for proper deception. The hand is never pulled back or lowered. Always 
jab or feint first to get your distance and leverage. 


When using a lead hook, always keep your rear hand high as a shield for your face. 
Your rear elbow protects your ribs on that side. 


Always try 
to nail a medium- 
range target (body 
or head) with 
stepping straight 
punches. 


The hook is mastered chiefly on the small punching bag. Try to explode sharply with- 
out twisting the body out of shape and be ready to follow-up with more punches. 


LEAD HOOK 


The more versatile the fighter — the more alert mentally and the more agile physically — 
the more apt he is to shove the most unorthodox blows from the most impossible 
angles. 


The lead hook should be used judiciously . It is most effective when going in or coming 
out and is useful against an over-reaching straight or against swings. 


With the opponent in the same stance, the lead hook is often delivered when he has 
lowered his rear hand guard or after he has executed a lead jab. 


Against a clever defensive fighter, the lead hook is sometimes the only way you can 
penetrate his defense or force him to vary it so that you can find openings for other 
types of punches. 


The lead hook can be used as a lead, when , for some reason, your opponent has lost his 


JOG 



TOOLS 


ability to move out of the way. It is more effective as a counterblow or as a follow-up, 
however, because it is basically a short-range weapon — when the opponent is coming 
to you. Try a straight lead or some other preparation first. A good way to use the lead 
hook powerfully is to fake a rear cross. Always vary your punches; high/low or low/ 
high, singly or in combination. Jabbing and feinting (with advance) is a good means of 
getting your distance. 


The lead hook is also a good punch while in-fighting — it comes from the side, outside 
the range of vision, as it were, and will go around the guard. This is valuable when 
close in, especially after the opponent is shaken up by a straight blow. 


The body is the easier target for the simple reason it covers a far larger surface than the 
jaw and is less mobile. The groin might be a better target, too, and is definitely harder 
to block than the jaw. 


A hook to the body is more effective close in. Feint to his head, then, in a flash, step 
forward with the lead foot and sink your lead hook into his stomach, ribs, groin or 
whichever target is closer. At the same time, duck to the opposite side from which your 
hook is being thrown. In doing this, you must bend your lead knee, bringing your 
shoulder as near as possible, level with the striking point. To preserve balance, turn 
the toe of the rear foot well out. Keep your rear guard up. 



The body is the 
easier target for 
the simple reason 
it covers a far 
larger surface 
than the jaw and 
is less mobile. 


The hook is a good punch to combine with a sidestep, for you are moving sideways and 
it is the natural way to swing at that moment. Similarly, you may land effectively on 
your opponent with a hook at the instant he is trying to sidestep. Remember, if you 
catch your man coming in, the blow will be twice as hard. Remember, also, to keep 
your rear hand up while striking! 


107 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Remember that 
punches are not 
supposed to be 
thrown with a 
wind-up motion. 


According to Mills, there are at least two ways to deliver a lead hook. 

# The long lead hook: Stab your opponent's face with a straight lead and 
quickly follow with the hook. (Study the weight shift in attacking and 
countering ~~ reaching forward and shifting to the back leg.) 

# The short lead hook: This is delivered from the on -guard position with the 
elbow closer to your side. (As you counter, shift your weight from the lead 
to the rear.) 


Like all punches, the lead hook must begin from the on-guard position for added 
deception. 


Always jab or feint first to get distance. For example, feint a cross to prepare leverage 
but don't throw it too far. Most boxers pull their hand back too far before throwing 
the hook. Try not to pull or lower the hand. Enough power can be put into the punch 
without pulling the arm far back. Much of the ''kick" behind the lead hook is accom- 
plished by the footwork. 


The lead heel must be raised outward so that the body can pivot, and the waist and 
shoulders reverse when the blow lands. 


You should keep the lead shoulder high for full leverage when you hook to the side of 
the chin. 


Remember that punches are not supposed to be thrown with a wind-up motion. They 
are made with a well-directed forearm and loose shoulder muscles. The momentum 
helps carry the arm back to the proper position. 


Frequently, a boxer tries to put too much body behind the punch, thereby making it a 
push punch. The hook is a loose, arm-propelled punch. The “kick" comes from the 
looseness of the delivery and the proper pivoting of the feet and body. The weight of 
the body is shifted with the hook to the side opposite the side you hook from. If you 
lead a hook, you must step in with the punch to make your reach good. Use a loose, 
easy, snappy punch; never a wide and looping blow. 


In loose hooking, the whip of the arm is caused by turning the body away from the 
arm until the range of movement in the shoulder joint is completely used. Then, the 


TOOLS 


arm must turn with the body. Executed quickly, this causes the arm to whip forward 
as if released from a bow. Make the blow snappy; always think of speed and more 
speed . Aim to drive through the opponent. 


Your lead heel is raised outward, swiveling on the ball of your lead foot so that your 
blow will have a better reach and will go through better and faster. Drop a little to the 
opposite side to get more weight and to safeguard yourself. 


Above all, minimize all motion so that you will be moving just enough to have the 
maximum effect without hooking wildly. 


The more you “open” an outside hook, the more it degenerates into a swing. You 
must keep it tight. Also, when you open a hook, you open your own defense. 


The great difficulty is in learning to swing sharply without twisting the body out of 
shape. 


The more sharply the elbow is bent, the tighter and more explosive the hook. Experi- 
ment with the arm slightly rigid prior to landing. 


Above all, mini- 
mize all motion 
so that you will 
be moving just 
enough to have 
the maximum 
effect. 


There are no wrists in boxing. (Experiment with that statement.) The forearm and the 
fist should be used as one solid piece, like a club with a knot on the end of it. The fist 
should be kept on a straight line with the forearm and there should be no bending of 
the wrist in any direction. Be careful not to hit with your thumb. 


At the finish of the punch, the thumb is up. There is no twist of the fist — for proper 
protection of the hand. The forearm is rigid from the elbow to the knuckles and does 
not bend at the wrist. Remember always that your knuckles are pointing in the exact 
direction of your whirling weight. 


Always keep the rear hand high as a shield for the other side of your face. The rear 
elbow protects the ribs. Make both points a habit! 


Be ready to follow-up with another solid punch with either hand l 


109 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The hook is 
mastered chiefly 
on the small 
speed bag. 


When blocking a hook, the tendency is to pull away or out from the blow. This is abso 
lutely the wrong thing to do. Move in y not out , so that the hook ends harmlessly around 
your neck. 


The hook is mastered chiefly on the small speed bag; try to explode sharply without 
twisting your body out of shape. Be sure your fists feel comfortable. 


REAR HOOK 

The rear hook is valuable for in -fighting, especially when coming away on the break or 
when the opponent is backing away. Sometimes, you can take your opponent's atten- 
tion off the lead hook by showing him your rear punch. 


Study a left rear hook to the kidney of a crouching opposition, an opponent who turns 
constantly in a right stance to the left, leaving his right kidney an open target. The fist 
is looped in a half-circle into the kidney. 


SHOVEL HOOK 

Shovel hooks are thrown “inside'’ with the elbows in, pressing tightly against the hips 
for body blows and pressing tightly against the lower ribs for head blows. They axe 
thrown from your on-guard position and they are short-range dandies. Make certain 
you have no tension in the elbow, shoulder or legs until the whirl is started. Your hip 
comes up in a vigorous shoveling hunch and your hand is at a 45-degree angle. The 
punch is angled to shoot inside an opponent’s defense. 


Execution (right stance): Pull your right elbow in and press it firmly against the front 
edge of your hip bone. Turn your half -opened right hand up slightly so that your palm 
is partially facing the ceiling. Your palm should slant at an angle of about 45 degrees 
with the floor and ceiling. Meanwhile, keep your left guard in normal position. Now, 
without moving your feet, suddenly whirl your body to your left in such fashion that 
your right hip comes up with a circling, shoveling hunch that sends your exploding 
right fist solidly into the target about solar plexus high. The slanting angle of your 
right hand permits you to land solidly with your striking knuckles. Make certain you 
have no tension in your elbow, shoulder or legs until the whirl is started from your 
normal position. More important, make certain that your hand is at the 45-degree 
angle and your hip comes up in a vigorous shoveling hunch. 


The fist angle and the hip hunch are important features of all shovel hooks, whether 


no 



TOOLS 


to the body or head. The leg spring used in the hip hunch speeds up your body whirl 
and, at the same time, deflects the direction of the whirl slightly upward in a surge. 
Meanwhile, the combination of the angled fist and the bent elbow points your striking 
knuckles in the same direction as that of the whirling surge. You have a pure punch. 
Your fist lands with a solid smash that packs plenty of follow-through. And your pure 
punch is angled to shoot inside an opponent's defenses. 


Shovels to the head are delivered from the on -guard position. (Better practice it on the 
speed bag.) Fold your right arm in toward your body, keeping your forearm straight 
up until your thumb knuckle is only a slight distance from your right shoulder. Be sure 
that your right elbow is well in and that it is pressing against your lower right ribs. Now, 
without moving your feet, suddenly give your body the combination shoulder whirl and 
hip hunch and let your angled right fist explode the punch against your chin-high target. 
Make certain each time that your elbow is pressing against your lower ribs at the start of 
the whirl and that your fist, when it lands, is only a short distance from your right 
shoulder. 


Shovel hooks are full-fledged inside lead hooks, one of the shortest , yet one of the most 
explosive blows. Once you have mastered it, your hands will flash instinctively to their 
shovel post as your body starts its hunching whirl. Your body will pick them up . 


Your pure punch 
is angled to shoot 
inside an oppo- 
nent's defenses. 


You can make the range with any number of attack combinations in which the shovels 
are used for follow shots. The simplest combinations would be a long right jolt to the 
head (from a right stance), which failed to knock your opponent backward, followed 
immediately by a left shovel to the head or body. Or, you could follow a similar straight 
right to the head with a right shovel to the head or body. Likewise, a long straight left 
to the head, which failed to accomplish its explosive object, would put you in position 
for right shovels to either target. Also, if a fast opponent steps into you, his speed may 
be such that you can't catch him with a stepping counterpunch, but that very speed 
may make him a perfect ‘‘clay pigeon” for your short-range artillery. In addition, you'll 
be in short range for counter-shovels many times when you ward off attacks by means 
of blocks, parries, slips and the like. 


The shovel ranks next to your long, straight punches (according to Dempsey). They 
enable you to knock out or at least soften up an opponent who is trying to clinch with 
you. (Don't forget to use elbows, stomps, knees.) They help you to keep inside the 
attack of bobbing weavers, most of whom hook from the outside , and help you 
straighten them up. Since the shovels are alt short, tight blows, you are less likely to 
get hit while using them than while throwing the more open outside hook. 


ill 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The essence 
of any hook is 
that the striker 
raises his elbow 
at the last possible 
moment when 
swinging. 


CORKSCREW HOOK 

Strictly speaking, a corkscrew hook is delivered almost like a straight punch with the 
difference that, just before contact, the wrist is turned sharply. It is a curved, tearing, 
knuckle jab for medium range. 


The essence of any hook is that the striker raises his elbow at the last possible moment 
when swinging. This will bring his knuckles around so they will make contact when his 
punch lands. 


Execution ( right stance): From your on-guard position, start your shoulder whirl as if 
you were going to shoot a medium-range right jab — no preparatory movement. Instead 
of jabbing, however, snap your right forearm and fist down, and your right elbow up. 
Your right fist snaps down with a screwing motion that causes your striking knuckles to 
land properly on the target. When your fist explodes against the target, your forearm is 
almost parallel to the floor. 


When you step in with the right corkscrew, you move in with a “pivot step” — stepping 
forward and slightly to your own right, pointing the toe sharply in. Your body pivots 
on the ball of your right foot as your right arm and fist snap down to the target. At the 
instant of the fist's landing, your rear left foot generally is in the air, but it settles 
immediately behind you. 



If you have a potent right corkscrew that flashes in without warnings your opponent 
will be very cautious about menacing you with his rear left fist. You can use the cork- 
screw hook to beat an adversary’s rear cross. Moreover, if he permits his guarding left 
hand to creep too far forward as he blocks or parries your leading right jab, your cork- 
screw hook can snap down behind that guarding left and nail his jaw. 


The right corkscrew is often delivered while you are circling to your opponent's left. 


Practice on the light speed bag to obtain proper form and zip. 


112 



TOOLS 


PALM HOOK 

The palm hook is simply a fast, open hand hook that hits with the palm of the hand. 


In the normal punching position, the right outside palm hook is very useful as a lead 
that shoots in behind the opponent’s guarding rear hand. And, it is useful as a counter 
that, with guarding or slipping, beats a straight lead to the punch. 


UPPERCUT 


Lead and rear hand uppercuts are used freely in close-quarter work. There are many 
opportunities for the punch once you get the inside position. 


Uppercuts can be used for head down charges and wild swinging blows. This presupposes 
that you do not go in with your head down or body bent forward until you have thor- 
oughly sized up your opponent’s style or you will run into an uppercut. 


The short uppercut is an effective one. Keep your legs bent before striking; straighten 
them suddenly as you send the punch in. Get up on your toes and lean hack a little as 
the blow lands, dropping more weight on the left leg when using the right and more on 
the right leg when using the left. 


The uppercut 
becomes almost 
useless against a 
fast boxer who 
stands upright 
all the time and 
simply jabs a long 
lead in your face. 


.Against a right stancer, when uppercutting with the lead right hand, lay your left hand 
for a moment on your opponent’s right shoulder to make sure you don’t run into a 
heavy return. 


Rear hand uppercut (right stance): Draw a right lead, then step in with a quick head 
twist to the right. As he 5 s still leaning forward in his lead, deliver a short, sharp, left 
uppercut to his chin, raising and obstructing his right with your punching arm. 


The left rear uppercut is delivered by lowering the left on the way across and “scooping” 
up and to the jaw or groin. The lead hand is drawn back for protection as well as 
strategic offensive position. 


The uppercut becomes almost useless against a fast boxer who stands upright all the 
time and simply jabs a long lead in your face. You must then plan to get to close- 

113 



/ 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Hit as straight 
possible. Don't 
telegraph any 
punch . 


quarters and apply this punch to his groin, etc. By these methods, you may then tire 
him so much that he will drop his head. 


The blow may be practiced upon a hanging bag of Indian com. 


a) Upward hook: You screw the blow up and in so that you can send it to the chin of a 
man who covers his face by holding his arm across it. Use a violent turn of the hip. 
(Note descriptions of the corkscrew hook.) 

b) Horizontal hook — Forward hook: Both go over or around the man's guard. It's 
almost a bent-arm jab. Drive through with the body. 

(Note descriptions of the shovel hook.) 



A good Western boxer hits from every angle. Each punch sets him in position to deliver 
another punch . He is always on center, never off-balance. The more effective combina- 
tions a fighter has, the more different types of opponents he will be able to defeat. 


Some observations are applicable to all types of hitting. Hit as straight as possible. Step 
in when you punch and make your reach good. Don't telegraph any punch . If you have 
to set your fist in a certain way for a particular punch, do it in a maimer that won't 


TOOLS 


warn your opponent. Fight from a center and always be in position and balanced to 
shoot any punch. Don't overshoot your target. After hitting, instantly get back on 
guard . End a series of punches with your lead hand. 



For long-range fighting jab with your lead and cross with your rear. For short-range 
fighting use hooks, rear hand body blows and uppercuts. 


Sway a little as you hit. A hard punch must be delivered from a solid base; light punches 
are delivered by a boxer on his toes. 


Learn to hold your fire until you can hit your opponent. Back him to the ropes or cor- 
ner him before you attack. Don't waste your energy missing. If he does the leading, 
avoid his punches and hit back with solid counter punches before he can get away. 


Learn to hold 
your fire until 
you can hit your 
opponent. 


Keep loose and relaxed except when actually fighting. Develop speed, liming and judg- 
ment of distance by many hard workouts with all types of sparring partners. With this, 
practice your authority; hit confidently and hard. 


GRAPPLING 

Throwing 

1. Hooking throw 

2. Reverse hooking throw 

3. Single leg tackle and trip 

4. Double leg tackle 

5. Right foot sweep - with or without arm drag to right or left stance 

6. Left foot sweep ■*- with or without arm drag to right or left stance 

7. Kick back 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Gauge your 
opponent’s leads 
— make him miss 
and get inside his 
punches by duck- 
ing, slipping, feint- 
ing or “sticking” 
with control- 
ling bands. 


Joint Locks 

Joint locks may he done while standing or lying on the ground, as an immobilizing 
technique. 

1. Outside armpit lock — to left or right stance 

2. Wrist lock 

3. Reverse wrist lock 

4. Reverse twisting wrist lock — to double arm lock 

5. Lying across arm bar 

6. Standing single leg lock 

7. Lying single leg lock 

8. Single leg and spine lock 

9. Double leg and spine lock 

10. Foot twist toe hold 

Chokes 

1. Rear drop choke 

2. Lean over drop choke 

3. Side drop choke 


Foul Tactics 

1. Hair pulling while in-fighting for control 

2. Foot stomp while in-fighting for maiming 

3. Skin pinching, biting and ear pulling for release or control 

4. Groin grabbing for maiming or release 


Takedown Methods 


1 . Circle step single leg tackle 

2. Drop step leg tackle 

3. Draw step leg tackle 



Do's 

1. Always keep moving. 

2. Be prepared for counters. 

3. Develop cat-like movements. 

4. Make the opponent wrestle your 
way. 

5. Be aggressive; make your opponent 
think defense. 


Don y ts 

1. Don't cross your legs 

2. Don’t commit your arms too deeply. 

3. Don’t chase your opponent. 

4. Don’t rely on one takedown; be 
ready for other openings. 

5. Don’t let your opponent circle you. 


116 



TOOLS 


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TOOLS 


ELBOW THROW-BYS 


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TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Feints are really 
decoys and if 
the opponent at- 
tempts to adjust 
his defense, the 
expert takes ad- 
vantage of the 
openings created. 





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1 20 


TOOLS 




Because of the 
many variables, 
fighting is a 
careful game. 





TAOOF 



All fighting 
should be done 
with speed and 
sudden economy 
in mind, as well 
as with power. 


122 






TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



PREPARATIONS 

Intelligence is sometimes defined as the capacity of the 
individual to adjust himself successfully to his environment— 
or to adjust the environment to his needs. 


124 



PREPARATIONS 


FEINTS 

To minimi ze the danger of being heavily countered, leads should almost always be pre- 
ceded by a feint of some sort. 


A slight wave of the hand, a stamp of the foot, a sudden shout, etc,, can produce sen- 
sory irradiations sufficient to reduce coordination. This mechanism is at the reflex 
level of human behavior and even many years of athletic experience cannot erase the 
distracting effects of extraneous stimuli. 


No feint can be counted effective, however, unless it forces the opponent to move . To 
be successful, it must appear to be a simple movement of attack. 


Good feints are decisive , expressive and threatening , and one can say that JKD is built 
on feints and the actions connected with them. 


The feint is a deceiving thrust which invites and lures the opponent to make the appro- 
riate parry. As the opponent takes the parry, the fighter’s hand disengages from the 
opponent’s parrying hand and the thrust is completed in the opened line with either 
hand. The feint is composed of a false thrust and a real , evasive thrust 


A slight wave of 
the hand, a stamp 
of the foot, a sud- 
den shout . . . 


The false thrust is a half extended arm with a slight forward movement of the upper 
body. The real, evasive thrust is done with a lunge. The false thrust must appear so real 
that it will threaten the opponent into a reaction. The false thrust must appear to be a 
real thrust in order to convince the opponent to take the parry. 


Feints should be made with the arm more extended (fast! but impress!) if they precede 
kicking and Long-range advancement. If they are made after a parry and the adversary 
can be reached without a lunge ; keep the arm slightly bent and stay well-covered with 
shifting or a rear guard. 


The advantage of a feint or feints is that the attacker can start lunging with his feints 
and, thus, be gaining distance from the outset. He will have shortened the distance to 
travel by a good half with his feint and left to his second movement only the second 
half of the disengagement. He gains distance by starting his lunge with his feint and, 
simultaneously, gains time by deceiving the parry (the opponent's reaction) on the way 
to his target. 


125 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 





Feinting is an essential part of attack. The more the opponent can be caught off-guard, 
or more important still, off-balance by means of feints, the better. 


© 







The speed of your feint is dependent upon the reaction of your opponent. Thus feinting, 

The feint is a like speed and distance, must be regulated to your opponent's reaction, 
deceiving thrust 

which invites — — 

and lures . . . 

The one- two feints can be utilized laterally (inside /outside; outside/inside) or vertically 
(high/low; low/high), with only one hand or with the two combined. 


The first movement, the feint, must be long and deep, or penetrating ; to draw the 
parry. The second movement, the hit, must be fast and decisive in its deception of the 
parry, allowing the defender no possibility of recovery. Thus, the feint rhythm is long- 
short . 


Even in the delivery of compound attacks with two feints, the depth of the first feint 
must force the opponent to move to the defense . But, as at this stage the measure has 
been considerably shortened, the second feint cannot also be long. There is no room 
and no time to do so. Thus, the rhythm or cadence of a two -feint compound attack 
will be: long-short-short. 


A more advanced form of feinting with a change of cadence could be described as: 
short-long-short. The object of this variation would be to mislead the adversary, making 
him believe that the second feint (long) was the final action of a compound attack, thus 
drawing the parry. 


126 


PREPARATIONS 


By “long” we do not really mean slow. While penetrating deeply toward the opponent, 
the feint must be fast. The combination of speed and penetration are the factors which 
draw the desired reaction from the defense. 


If an opponent doesn't react to feints, an attack with straight or simple movements is 
advisable. 


By making several real, economical simple attacks first, the feints will be more effec- 
tive. The opponent will not know whether a simple attack or a feint followed by a de- 
ception is being executed. This is especially effective against the less mobile opponent 
to promote a reaction. The same tactic might excite the speed- footed opponent into 
flight 


Feints can also be made in the order of false attacks to parry the opponent's counter- 
attack and riposte or make a fast return or counter- re turn. 


Object of the feint: 

1. To open the line in which one intends to attack. 

2. To make the opponent hesitate while immediately closing the distance. 

3. To deceive the parry which the feint provokes — to trap and hit or to delay 
the attack and hit as the opponent moves back to recover. 


The speed of your 
feint is dependent 
upon the reaction 
of your opponent* 


Introduction of the feint: 

1. As a direct thrust 

2. As an evasive thrust 

3. As an engagement 

4. As a disengagement 

5. As pressure 

6. As a violent pressure 

7. As a beat 

8. As a cut-over (for immobilization) 

Parries to evade: 

1. Simple 

2. Circular 

3. Counter or changing 


The number of parries to evade can be single, dual or plural. 


127 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Execution 


Assume the on-guard position. Advance slowly. While advancing, give a quick bend of 
the forward knee. This gives the impression that the arms are moving as well as legs. 

In reality, the arms are held relaxed and ready as though committing the lead hand for 
the opponent. 


Make a slight forward movement of the upper body, bending the forward knee and 
moving the lead hand slightly forward. While advancing, take a longer step forward with 
the lead foot, as in the quick advance, and jab the lead arm into extension without 
hitting the opponent. (Be extra sensitive to counters while advancing^be economical.) 
From this close position, fold the lead arm back to the body and jab to the chin. 


Another effective feint is a short bend of the body above the rear hip while moving 
forward. 


The depth of 
the first feint 
must force the 
opponent to move 
to the defense. 


The step-in/step-out feint means stepping forward one step as if to jab with the lead 
hand, but instead, stepping out of range by pivoting off to the outside with the lead 
leg. Now, step in as if to feint but drive a lead jab to the chin. Step out immediately. 
Continue, one time feinting, the next time actually jabbing with the lead hand. If pos 
sible, follow the lead jab with a straight rear thrust to the chin (one- two). 


Other feints: 

1. Feint a lead jab to the face and jab to the stomach. 

2. Feint a lead jab to the stomach and jab to the face. 

3. Feint a jab to the face, feint a rear thrust to the face and then jab the lead 
to the chin. 

4. Feint a straight rear thrust to the jaw and hook the lead to the body. 

5. Feint a lead jab to the chin and deliver a rear uppercut to the body. 


128 


Note: Compare all the above for kicking feints. Study head feints explained earlier. 
Find an accurate feeling for distance and correct balanced posture while 
feinting. 




PREPARATIONS 


PARRIES 


/& 


\ 


! 



Find an accu- 
rate feeling for 
distance and cor 
rect balanced 
posture * . * 





TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Parrying is a . * . 
light y easy move- 
ment depending 
on timing . . . 


Parrying is a sudden movement of the hand from the inside or outside onto an oncoming 
blow, to deflect the blow from its original path. It is a light > easy movement depending 





on timing rather than force. A blow is never parried until the last moment and always 
when close to the body. 


There are three parries — simple, semicircular, circular — to a single offensive movement. 


If the attacker's movements are large and badly directed, a simple parry would be the 
answer. (Don't forget the stop-hit.) Simple parries tend to be used without discrimina 
tion because they are instinctive movements. Thus, great care must be taken that they 
are well-controlled and cover just enough. Avoid any slashing or whipping of the 
guards. (Remember simplicity. Study the eight basic defensive positions.) 


The object in the parry is to use just enough deflecting motion to protect the threat- 
ened area. If you over- protect (move the hand too far to one side), you are immediately 
vulnerable to disengaging attacks. 


132 


To reach out to parry a blow not only makes openings for counter-blows, but also 
enables the opponent to change the direction of his blow. Remember, parry late 
rather than early . 



PREPARATIONS 


Parrying is an extremely useful form of defense* It is easily learned, easily performed 
and should be used whenever possible. Advantageous openings are created which are 
essential to counter-fighting. 


Parrying is more refined than blocking which uses force and causes contusion of the 
tissues, nerves and bones* Blocking should be used only when it is necessary because it 
weakens rather than conserves bodily force. A well-delivered blow, even if blocked, 
will disturb balance, prevent countering and create openings for other blows. 


Successful parries are brought about by placing the defensive hand across the path of 
the thrust so that should there be any force in the blow, it would slide off. 


Sometimes the fighter must feel that in deflecting the thrust or kick, he is in reality 
taking possession of it; that through the contact he obtains, he will feel his opponents 
reactions when the latter realizes his attack has failed* 


Only use a parry against a real attack. The opponent’s false attacks can be followed with 
half positions* 


Exercises: The teacher directs strikes or thrusts to different parts of the target. The 
student follows these movements but stops when the teacher stops, parrying only the 
real attacks* Next, the teacher makes the same threats, but the student does not follow 
with his hand. Again, the parry is taken only when the real strike or thrust comes. This 
procedure teaches the student to parry only at the last moment* 


Sweep away 
the thrust from 
the target by the 
shortest route. 


Against the simple parry (that is, a lateral crossing of hands) attack with disengagement 
(on another line). 


When making the opposition parry to apply the “beat” parry, your hand should not 
swing too far to the right or left* Merely close the line or deflect the opponent’s hand, 
leaving just enough room to arrive on the target. 


The beat parry is usually followed by a fast return against the sharp and powerful 
opponent. 


Semicircular parries are those taken from a high line of engagement to deflect an attack 


133 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



directed in the low line, or from a low line engagement to a high line. They describe a 
half-circle. 


The parries of octave (low outside) and septime (low inside) are those used for defense 
against attacks directed in the low line, but for tactical reasons they can be alternatives 
to the parries of sixte (high outside) and quarte (high inside). Study the parries in 
fencing. 


Against a very fast fighter or one with a marked superiority of height or reach, it is 
often necessary to step backwards when making a parry. When parrying with a step 
backwards, the parry should be taken as the rear foot moves backwards in the course 
of breaking ground. In other words, the parry should be formed with the step back and 
not after it has been completed. 


A circular parry 
envelops the at- 
tacker’s wrist and 
brings it back to 
the original line 
of invitation, 
while deflect- 
ing it off the 
target. 


The step back as a defensive movement should always be adjusted to the length of the 
opponent's attacking movements to ensure that the required measure is maintained for 
a successful parry and riposte. 


A circular parry envelops the attacker’s wrist and brings it back to the original line of 
invitation, while deflecting it off the target. 


Sweep away the thrust from the target by the shortest route (with your shoulder re- 
laxed) — counter of sixte is taken by moving the hand clockwise, while counter of 
quarte will require a counterclockwise rotation of the blade. 


A circular parry, when used in the high line, starts under the adversary’s hand; when 
used in the low line, it starts over the opponent’s hand. The advantages of circular 
parries over opposition or beat parries is that they protect a larger amount of the tar- 
get and are more difficult to deceive. However, they are not as rapid as the simple 
parries. Time spent in speeding them up will pay good dividends. 


When using the circular parries, be sure that the hand describes a perfect circle so that 
it finishes in its original position. Do not start or finish the parry too soon, for your 


134 



PREPARATIONS 


hand must follow the opponent's and should meet his hand just before it is about to 
arrive on the target. 


Use the circular parry also to mess up the opponent who feints* 


Compound parries consist of two or more like parries or a combination of different 
parries* 


Each single parry must be finished , bringing your hand to the “appropriate” position, 
before making the succeeding parry* 


Mix and vary your parries so the opponent cannot set an attacking plan. The habit of 
always reacting to attacks with the same type of parry will obviously play into the hands 
of an observant opponent. Thus, it is wise to vary the type of parry used as much as 
possible during a bout to keep the opponent guessing. This will cause a certain amount 
of hesitation on the part of the attacker whose offensive action will suffer in confi- 
dence and penetration. 


What will make parries or blocks more effective ? — body positioning, footwork (moving 
in, circling, etc.) to facilitate ready countering* 


Mix and vary 
your parries so 
the opponent can- 
not set an attack- 
ing plan* 


Watch out for the opponent's counter. 


Experiment sleeping the parry toward the opponent's path (natural easy movements). 


Examine parries with all kinds of dodging, shifting, slipping, weaving, ducking, snapping 
back, for possible insertion of kicks or a combination of kicks and/or punches. Insert 
stopping and covering with kick and punch insertions* Also, be sure to constantly 
threaten the opponent with inserts during apparent shifts to various directions (com- 
mitments) so as to always be positioning on-guard . 


MANIPULATIONS 


THE BEAT 

If the opponent is exceptionally fast and will not go for feints, the beat can be used. 


135 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The beat is a crisp movement of the hand made against the opponent's with the 
object of knocking it aside or obtaining a reaction. Usually the reaction of the fighter 
to beat back will offer the advantage of staying ahead of the opponent’s movement 
throughout. 


Because of the distance, the beat cannot be made at will. The correct opportunity must 
be waited for and seized. The opponent’s continual change of hand position, often in 
the form of half- feints and false attacks, will bring the hand well within reach of a beat. 


Although a beat followed by a direct attack can be successful, beats generally bring 
about a covering movement to the side on which the hand has been beaten. This makes 
a direct attack a difficult stroke to bring off. It is advisable, therefore, to take advan- 
tage of such reactions by following the beat with an indirect or compound attack. 

The beat should be made from the normal guard position into the line in which the 
hands are engaged. If a change of engagement is made to beat on another line, the 
action is called a change beat 


The correct 
opportunity must 
be waited for 
and seized. 


Make the beat sharp and as close to the hand as possible. There are three purposes to 
making beats on the hand: 

1. To open the line by force or, by the right amount of crispiness on the 
opponent’s “tension spring,” to secure thread-like penetration. 

2. As a feint before an attack. 


3. As an invitation to the opponent’s attack, especially after obtaining his 
cadence. 


In the first case, the beat on the hand should be made sharply and quickly; practice 
trapping or hand immobilization with these two qualities along with the small phasic 
bent-knee stance. 


In the second case, the beat should be light and fast so as to pass the hand quickly and 
execute the attack. . 


In the third case, it should be made lightly and not too quickly, at the same time being 


136 



PREPARATIONS 


ready to either parry the attack, counter-time it or follow with a second light and fast 
beat to counterattack. 


THE BIND 


When the hand is engaged, the action of carrying the opponent's hand diagonally 
across from a high to a low line or vice versa is called a “bind/’ It is performed much 
like a semicircular parry. 


THE CROISE 


The croise carries the opponent's hand from the high to low line on the same side of 
the engagement and does not, as in the bind, carry it diagonally across. It is not exe- 
cuted from low to high. 


THE ENVELOPMENT 


The envelopment is the action of taking the opponent’s hand off its target in a circular 
motion and returning it to the line of engagement. 


The bind, 
croise, envelop- 
ment and pres- 
sure are mainly 
elements of trap- 
ping prior to an 
indirect attack or 
are simply used to 
obtain a reaction. 


THE PRESSURE 


The pressure is the action of pressing upon the opponent’s hand in order to deflect it 
or obtain a reaction to disengage from it. 


The beat is used prior to a direct attack or to obtain a reaction for an indirect attack. 
The bind, croise, envelopment and pressure are mainly elements of trapping prior to an 
indirect attack or are simply used to obtain a reaction. 


137 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



MOBILITY 

Attain stillness while moving, like thy moon beneath the 
waves that ever go on rolling and rocking. 


138 



MOBILITY 


DISTANCE 

Distance is a continually shifting relationship, depending on the speed, agility and con- 
trol of both fighters. It is a constant, rapid shifting of ground, seeking the slightest 
dosing which will greatly increase the chances of hitting the opponent. 


The maintenance of proper fighting distance has a decisive effect on the outcome of 
the fight— acquire the habit! 


There must be close synchronization between closing and opening distance and the 
various actions of the hands and feet. To fight for any length of time within distance 
is safe only if you overwhelmingly outclass your opponent in speed and agility. 


When taking the guard, it is preferable to fall back a little too far than to come too 
dose to your opponent. No matter how fast you are able to parry, if a man is close 
enough to you he will arrive with his attack, for the nature of an attack is such that it 
gives the advantage of the initiation to the attacker (providing the correct measure is 
there). Likewise, however accurate, fast, economical and timely your attack may be, it 
will fall short unless you have calculated your distance well. 


There must be 
close synchroniza- 
tion between clos- 
ing and opening 
distance. 


The fighting measure is the distance which a fighter keeps in relation to his opponent. 
It is such that he cannot be hit unless his opponent lunges fully at him. 


It is essential that each man learn his own fighting measure. This means in a fight he 
must allow for the relative agility and speed of himself and his opponent. That is, he 
should consistently stay out of distance in the sense that his opponent cannot reach 
him with a simple punch, but not so far that, with a short advance , he cannot regain 
the distance and be able to reach his opponent with his own powerful attack. 


If fighters are constantly on the move when fighting, it is because they are trying to 
make their opponent misjudge his distance while being well aware of their own. 


Thus, a fighter is constantly gaining and breaking ground in his effort to obtain the 
distance which suits him best. Develop the reflex of always maintaining a correct mea- 
sure. Instinctive distance pacing is of utmost importance. 


139 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The shielded fighter always keeps himself just out of distance of the opponent's attack 
and waits for his opportunity to close the distance himself or to steal a march on the 
opponent's advance. Attack on the opponent's advance or change of distance toward 
you. Back him to a wall to cut off his retreat or retreat yourself to draw an advance. 


The majority of fencers , when they are preparing an attack or trying to avoid one, take 
turns advancing and retreating. This procedure is not advisable in fighting because the 
advance and retreat during the assault must be made rapidly, by bounds and at irregular 
intervals in such a fashion that the adversary does not notice the action until it is too 
late. The opponent should be lulled, then the attack should be launched as suddenly as 
possible, accommodating itself to the automatic movements (including the possible 
retreat) of the opponent 


The art of successful kicking and hitting is the art of correct distance judging. An 
attack should be aimed at the distance where the opponent will he when he realizes he 
is being attacked and not at the distance prior to the attack. The slightest error can 
render the attack harmless. 


It is essential 
that each man 
learn his own 
fighting measure. 


An attack will rarely succeed unless you can lodge yourself at the correct distance at 
the moment it is launched. A parry is most likely to succeed if it can be made just as 
the opponent is at the end of his Lunge. Many a chance to riposte is missed by the 
defender stepping back completely out of distance when he parries. To these examples 
must be added the obvious importance of choosing the correct measure, as well as 
timing and cadence , when making a counterattack by stop-hit or time-hit. 


Marcellk past master of fencing, said, “The question whether it is necessary to know in 
advance the tempo or the distance is a matter for the philosopher rather than the swords- 
man to decide. Just the same, it is certain that the combatant has to observe simultane- 
ously both the tempo and the distance. And he has to comply with both simultaneously , 
with the action, if he wishes to reach his object.’* 


The fighting measure is also governed by the amount of target to be protected (i.e. ; the 
targets the adversary stresses) and the parts of the body which are most easily within 
the adversary’s reach. The shin is most vulnerable and is constantly threatened. If the 
opponent specializes in shin/knee kicking, you have to take his measure from shin to 
shin. 


When the correct distance is attained, the attack should be carried through with an 
instantaneous burst of energy and speed. A fighter who is in a constant state of physi- 

140 


MOBILITY 


cal fitness is more apt to get off the mark in a fraction of a second and, therefore, to 
seize an opportunity without warning. 


DISTANCE IN ATTACK 


The first principle for fastest contact in attacking from a distance is 
get at the closest. 

In kicking: The leading shin/knee side kick (with a 
In striking: The finger jab to eyes 
Study the progressive weapons charts. 


Examples 


using the longest to 
lean) 


The second principle is economical initiation (non-telegraphic). Apply latent motor 
training to intuition. 


The third principle is correct on-guard position to facilitate freedom of movement 
(ease). Use the small phasic bent-knee position. 


The fourth principle is constant shifting of footwork to secure the correct measure. 
Use broken rhythm to confuse the opponent's distance while controlling one’s own. 


The slightest error 
can render the 
attack harmless. 


The fifth principle is catching the opponent’s moment of weakness, physically as well 
as psychologically. 


The sixth principle is correct measure for explosive penetration. 


The seventh principle is quick recovery or appropriate follow-ups. 


The “X” principle is courage and decision. 


DISTANCE IN DEFENSE 


The first principle for using distance as a defense is combining sensitive aura with co- 
ordinated footwork. 

141 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



When the 
correct distance 
is attained, the 
attack should be 
carried through. . . 


The second principle is good judgment of the opponent’s length of penetration, a sense 
for receiving his straightening weapon to borrow the half-beat. 


The third principle is correct on-guard position to facilitate freedom of movement 
(ease). Use small phasic bent- knee position. 


The fourth principle is the use of controlled balance (in motion) without moving out of 
position. Study evasiveness. 


FOOTWORK 

One can only develop an instinctive sense of distance if he is able to move about 
smoothly and speedily. 


The quality of a man’s technique depends on his footwork, for one cannot use his 
hands or kicks efficiently until his feet have put him in the desired position. If a man 
is slow on his feet, he will be slow with his punches and kicks. Mobility and speed of 
footwork precede speed of kicks and punches. 


Mobility is definitely stressed in Jeet Kune Do because combat is a matter of motion, 
an operation of finding a target or of avoiding being a target. In this art, there is no 
nonsense of squatting on a classical horse stance for three long years before moving. 
This type of unnecessary, strenuous standing is not functional, for it is basically a 
seeking of firmness in stillness. In Jeet Kune Do , one finds firmness in movement , 
which is real, easy and alive . Therefore, springiness and alertness of footwork is the 
theme. 


During sparring, a sparmate is constantly on the move to make his opponent misjudge 
his distance, while being quite certain of his own. In fact, the length of the step for- 
ward and backward is regulated to that of his opponent. A good man always maintains 
such a position as to enable him, while keeping just out of range, to be yet near enough 
to immediately take an opening (ref.: the fighting measure). Thus, at a normal distance, 
he is able to prevent his opponent from attacking him by his fine sense of distance and 
timing. As a result, his opponent is then compelled to keep shortening his distance, to 
come nearer and nearer until he is too near! 


Mobility is vitally important in defense as well, for a moving target is definitely harder 


142 



MOBILITY 


to hit and kick. Footwork can and will beat any kick or punch. The more adept a 
fighter is at footwork, the less does he make use of his arms in avoiding kicks and blows. 
By means of skillful and timely sidestepping and slipping, he can get clear of almost 
any kick and punch, thus preserving both of his guns, as well as his balance and energy, 
for counters. 


Also, by constantly being in small motion, the fighter can initiate a movement much 
more snappily than from a position. It is not recommended, therefore, that you stay 
too long on the same spot. Always use short steps to alter the distance between you 
and your opponent. Vary the length of your step, however, as well as the speed, for 
added confusion to your opponent. 


Footwork in Jeet Kune Do tends to aim toward simplification with a minimum of 
movement. Do not get carried away and stand on your toes and dance all over the 
place like a fancy boxen Economical footwork not only adds speed but, by moving 
just enough to evade the opponent’s attack, it commits him fully. The simple idea is 
to get where you are safe and he isn’t. 


Above all, footwork should be easy and relaxing. The feet are kept at a comfortable 
distance apart according to the individual, without any strain or awkwardness. By now 
the reader should see the unrealistic approach of the traditional, classical footwork and 
stances. They are slow and awkward and, to put it plainly, nobody moves like that in a 
fight! A martial artist is required to shift in any direction at split second notice. 


The quality of a 
man’s technique 
depends on his 
footwork. ♦ . 


Moving is used as a means of defense, a means of deception, a means of securing proper 
distance for attack and a means of conserving energy. The essence of fighting is the art 
of moving . 


Footwork enables you to break ground and escape punishment, to get out of a tight 
comer, to allow the heavy slugger to tire himself in his vain attempts to land a devasta- 
ting punch; it also puts pep into the punch. 


The greatest phase of footwork is the coordination of punching and kicking in motion. 
Without footwork, the fighter is like artillery that cannot be moved or a policeman in 
the wrong place at the wrong time. 


The value of a couple of good hands and fast, powerful kicking depends mostly on 


143 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



In Jeet Kune Do, 
one finds firmness 
in movement, 
which is real, 
easy and alive. 


their being on a well-balanced and quickly movable base. It is essential, therefore, to 
preserve the balance and poise of the fighting turret carrying your artillery. No matter 
in what direction or at what speed you move, your aim is to retain the fundamental 
stance which has been found the most effective for fighting. Let the movable pedestal 
be as nimble as possible. 


The correct style in fighting is that which, in its absolute naturalness, combines velocity 
and power of hitting with the soundest defense. 


Good footwork means good balance in action and from this springs hitting power and 
the ability to avoid punishment. Every movement involves the coordination of hands, 
feet and brain. 


A fighter should not be flatfooted but should feel the floor with the balls of his feet 
as though they were strong springs, ready to accelerate or retard his movements as 
required by changing conditions. 


Use the feet cleverly to maneuver and combine balanced movement with aggression 
and protection. Above all, keep cool. 

# The foundation is sensitivity of aura. 

# The second is aliveness and naturalness. 

# The third is instinctive pacing (distance and timing). 

# The fourth is correct placement of the body. 

# The fifth is a balanced position at the end. 


Use your own footwork and your opponent’s to your advantage. Note his pattern, if 
any, of advancing and retreating. Vary the length and speed of your own step. 


The length of the step forward or backward should be approximately regulated to that 
of the opponent. 


Variations of measure will make it more difficult for the opponent to time his attacks 
or preparations. A fighter with a good sense of distance or one who is difficult to 
reach in launching an attack may often be brought to the desired measure by progres- 
sively shortening a series of steps backward or by gaining distance toward him when he 
lunges (stealing the march). 


244 



MOBILITY 


The simplest and most fundamental tactic to use on an opponent is to gain just 
enough distance to facilitate a hit. The idea is to press (advance) a step or so and then 
fall back (retreat), inviting the opponent to follow. Allow your opponent to advance a 
step or two and then, at the precise moment he lifts his foot for still another step , you 
must suddenly lunge forward into his step. 


An opponent difficult to reach may be reached by a series of progressive steps — the 
first one must be smooth and economical. 


Small and rapid steps are recommended as the only way to keep perfect balance, exact 
distance and the ability to apply sudden attacks or counterattacks. 


Sure footwork and balance are necessary to be able to advance and retreat in and out 
of distance with respect to both your own and your opponent’s reach. Knowing when 
to advance and when to retreat is also knowing when to attack and when to protect. 


A good man steals, creates and changes the vital spatial relations to the confusion of 
his opponent. 


Practice your footwork with a view to keeping a very correct and precise distance in 
relation to your opponent and move just enough to accomplish your purpose. Fine 
distancing will make the opponent strive that much harder, and thus bring him close 
enough to be subject to efficient counterblows. 


Footwork in Jeet 
Kune Do tends to 
aim toward 
simplification. 


To move at the right time is the foundation of great skill in fighting, not just to move 
at the right time but also to be in the best position for attack or counter. It means 
balance, but balance in movement . 


Having your feet in the correct position serves as a pivot for your entire attack. It 
balances you properly and lends unseen power to your blows, just as it does in sports 
like baseball where drive and power seem to come up from the legs. 


To maintain balance while constantly shifting body weight is an art few ever acquire. 


Correct placement of your feet will ensure balance and mobility — experiment with 


145 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The essence of 
fighting is the art 
of moving* 


yourself. Y ou must feel with your footwork. Rapid and easy footwork is a matter of 
correct distribution of weight. 


The ideal position of the feet is one that enables you to move quickly in any direction 
and to be so balanced as to resist blows from all angles. Remember the small phasic 
bent-knee stance. 



The rear heel is raised because: 

1. When you punch, you transfer all your weight quickly to your lead leg. This 
is easier if the rear heel is already slightly raised. 

2. When you are punched and have to “give” a bit, you sink down on the rear 
heel. This acts as a kind of spring and takes the edge out of a punch. 

3. It makes the back foot easier to move. 


The rear heel is the piston of the whole fighting machine. 


The feet must always be directly under the body. Any movement of the feet which 
tends to unbalance the body must be eliminated. The on-guard position is one of per- 
fect body balance and should always be maintained, especially as regards the feet. Wide 
steps or leg movements which require a constant shift of weight from one leg to the 
other cannot be used . During this shift of weight, there is a moment when balance is 


146 


MOBILITY 


precarious and so renders attack or defense ineffective. Also, the opponent can time 
your shifting for his attack. 


Short steps while moving ensure balance in attack. Also, the body balance is always 
maintained so that any offensive or defensive movement required is not limited or 
impaired as the fighter moves forward, backward or circles his opponent. Thus, it is 
better to take two medium steps rather than one long one to cover the same distance 


Variations of measure will make it more difficult for the opponent to time his attacks 
or preparation. 


Unless there is a tactical reason for acting otherwise, gaining and breaking ground is 
executed by means of small and rapid steps. A correct distribution of weight on both 
legs will make for perfect balance, enabling the fighter to get off the mark quickly 
and easily whenever the measure is right for attacks. 


Lighten the stance so the force of inertia to be overcome will be less. The best way to 
leam proper footwork is to shadow box many rounds, giving special attention to be- 
coming light on your feet. Gradually, this way of stepping around will become natural 
to you and you will do it easily and mechanically without giving it a thought 


Every movement 
involves the co- 
ordination of 
hands, feet and 
brain. 


You should operate in the same manner as a graceful ballroom dancer who uses the 
feet, ankles and calves. He slithers around the floor. 


The accent is on speedy footwork and the tendency toward attack with a step forward 
(drill! drill! drill!), often combined with an attack on the hand. 


There are only four moves possible in footwork: 

1. Advancing 

2. Retreating 

3. Circling right 

4. Circling left 


However, there are important variations of each, as well as the necessity of coordinat- 
ing each fundamental movement with punches and kicks. The following are 
some examples: 

147 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Jf 

4 


Lighten the 
stance so the 
force of inertia 
to be overcome 
will be less. 


The forward shuffle: This is a forward advance of the body, without disturbing body 
balance, which can only be performed through a series of short steps forward. These 
steps must be so smaJl that the feet arc not lifted at all, but slide along the floor. The 
whole body maintains the fundamental position throughout; this is the key. Once 
body feel results, combine the step with tools. The body is poised for either sudden 
attack or a defensive maneuver Its primary purpose is to create openings (by the 
opponent's defensive reactions) and to draw leads. 


The backward shuffle: The principle is the same as that of the forward shuffle; do it 
without disturbing the on-guard position. Remember that both feet are on the floor 
at all times , permitting balance to be maintained for attack or defense. It is used to 
draw leads or to draw the opponent off-balance, thus creating openings. 


The quick advance: Remember that though this is a fast, sudden movement forward, 
balance must be kept. The body flattens toward the floor rather than leaping into the 
air. It is not a hop . In all respects, it is the same as a wide step forward where the rear 
foot is brought immediately into position. Get the body feel with tools. 


The step forward and the step back: Gaining and breaking ground may be used as a 
preparation of attack. The step forward is obviously used to obtain the correct dis* 
tance for attacking and the step back can be used to draw the opponent within dis- 
tance. “ Drawing' * an opponent usually means drawing out of distance from a lead by 
swaying back from the hips, or making use of the feet in such a way that the lead will 
just fall short. Its object is to lure your opponent within reach at a crucial moment, 
while staying out of reach yourself. 


The step forward will add speed to the attack when it is combined with a feint (forcing 
the opponent to commit himself) or a preparation (to tie and close the boundaries). If 
the step forward is made with the line of engagement covered, the attacker will be in 
the best position to deal with a stop-hit launched during this movement 


The step back can be used tactically against an opponent who has formed the habit of 
retiring whenever any feint or other offensive movement is made and is, therefore, very 
difficult to reach, especially if he is superior in height and length. 


Constant steps forward and back with a carefully regulated length can conceal a player's 
intentions and enable him to lodge himself at the ideal distance for an attack, often as 
the opponent is off-balance. 



MOBILITY 


Circling right: The right lead leg becomes a movable pivot that wheels the whole body 
to the right until the correct position is resumed. The first step with the right foot may 
be as short or as long as necessary the longer the step, the greater the pivot The fun- 
damental position must be maintained at all times. The right hand should be carried 
a little higher than ordinary in readiness for the opponent's left counter. Moving to 
the right may be used to nullify an opponent's right lead hook. It may be used to get 
into position for left hand counters and it can be used to keep the opponent off- 
balance. The important things to remember are never step so as to cross the feet, move 
deliberately and without excess motion. 


Circling left: This is a more precise movement requiring shorter steps. It is used to keep 
out of range of rear, left hand blows from a right stancer. It also creates good position 
for the delivery of a hook or jab. It is more difficult but safer than moving to the right 
and, therefore, should be used more often. 


The stepdn/step-out: This is the start of an offensive maneuver, often used as a feint in 
order to build up an opening. The foot movement is always combined with kicking and 
punching movement. The initial movement (the step-in) is directly in, with the hands 
held high as if to hit or kick, then out quickly before the opponent can adjust his 
defense. Lull the opponent with this maneuver, then attack when he is motorset. 


The quick retreat: This is a fast, fluid, forceful backward movement, allowing further 
retreat if necessary or a stepping forward to attack if desired. 


If it is necessary to combine a step back with a parry, it is because one is pressed for 
time. The parry must, therefore, be made at the beginning of the retreating move- 
ment— that is to say, when the rear foot moves. 


When the opponent's offensive action is a compound one, the correct coordination will 
be to perform the first parry simultaneously with the movement of the rear foot, and 
the remaining parry, or parries, simultaneously with the retreating lead foot. 


The step back can be taken first, but this should only be the case when the attack has 
been prepared with a step forward and not when the attack has been made with a step 
forward. 


It is a con- 
tinuous process 
of hit-and-away 


To a man with quick footwork and a good lead, the art comes easily enough. It is a 
continuous process of hit-and-away. As your opponent moves in, you meet him with 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



a defensive hit with the lead and immediately step back; then, as he follows-up, you 
repeat the process, continually retreating around the ring. As you do so, frequently 
check yourself in your stride and temporarily stop to meet him with a straight right or 
left or occasionally both* 


Success in “milling on the retreat” takes good judgment of distance and the ability to 
stop in your retreat quickly and unexpectedly* The common fault is to deliver your 
blow while actually on the move instead of properly stopping to do it. Develop great 
rapidity in passing from defense to attack and then back to defense again* 


Remember , do not attempt to hit while backing away * Your weight has to shift for* 
ward. Step back, halt, then hit or learn to shift your body weight momentarily forward 
while the foot backs up* 


The turret carry- 
ing the artillery 
must remain well- 
poised, a constant 
threat to 
your foe. 


Whether on the offensive or retreating, one should strive to be a confusing and diffi- 
cult target* One should not move in a straight forward or in a straight backward 
direction* 


When avoiding or maneuvering your opponent by footwork, keep as near to him as 
you can for retaliatory purposes. Move lightly, feeling the floor as a springboard, ready 
to snap in with a punch, kick or a counterpunch or kick. 


To retreat from kicks is to give the adversary room so it is wise, at times, to crowd and 
smother his preparation and gain time consequently with a stop-hit. 


Sidestepping: Sidestepping is actually shifting the weight and changing the feet with- 
out disturbing balance in an effort to quickly gain a more advantageous position from 
which to carry the attack. It is used to avoid straight forward rushes and to move 
quickly out of range. When an opponent rushes you, it is not so much the rush you 
sidestep as some particular blow he leads during the rush. 


Sidestepping is a safe, sure and valuable defensive tactic. You can use it to frustrate an 
attack simply by moving every time an opponent gets set to attack or you may use it 
as a method of avoiding blows or kicks. It may also be used to create openings for a 
counterattack. 


150 


Sidestepping may be performed by shifting the body forward, which is called a “ for- 
ward drop . ” This is a pretty safe position with the head in close, the hands carried 



MOBILITY 


high and ready to strike the opponent's groin, or stomp on his insteps, or carry a two- 
fisted hooking attack. The forward drop, also called a “ drop shifts ” is used to gain 
either the outside or inside guard position and is, therefore, a very useful technique in 
in-fighting or grappling. It is also a vehicle for countering. It requires timing, speed 
and judgment to properly execute and may be combined with the jab, straight left, 
left and right hooks. 


The same step may also be performed directly to the right or left or back, depending 
on the degree of safety needed or the plan of action. 


Properly used, sidestepping is not only one of the prettiest moves, but is also a method 
of escaping all kinds of attacks and countering an opponent when he least expects it. 
The art of sidestepping, as of ducking and slipping, is to move late and quick . You 
wait until your opponent's kick or blow is almost on you and then take a quick step 
either to the right or left. 


In nearly all cases, you move first the foot nearest the direction you intend to go in. 

In order to do the step in the quickest possible manner , the body should sway over in 
the direction you are going slightly before the step is made . The rear foot then follows 
quickly and naturally and, in sidestepping a rush, the fighter turns immediately and 
counters his man as he flies past him. 


When sidestepping a lead, the counter is naturally quite easy. Not so after a rush for to 
counter effectively here, a fighter has to keep very close to his opponent, moving just 
enough to make him miss. The fighter must then turn extraordinarily quickly to be on 
him before he has flashed past. 


When an 
opponent rushes 
you, it is not so 
much the rush 
you sidestep as 
some particular 
blow he leads dur- 
ing the rush. 


Remember, when an opponent rushes you, it is not so much the rush you sidestep as 
some particular kick or blow he leads during the rush; indeed, if you step to the side 
of your opponent without catching sight of some blow to get outside of, you will be 
very liable to run into a hook or a swing. 


Sidestepping right: Carry the right lead foot sharply to the right and forward, a dis- 
tance of about 18 inches. Bring up the left foot an equal distance behind the right. 

The step serves to swing the body to the left, bringing the right side farther forward 
and closer to the opponent's left rear ( when in a right stance himself). For that reason, 
the right sidestep is not used as frequently as the one to the left. Most of the weaving 
and sidestepping is to the left, keeping you closer to his right and farther away from 
his left rear hand. (The situation changes in right ^stancer versus left-stancer.) 


151 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Aim always to 
move fluidly but 
retain the relative 
position of 
the two feet. 


Occasionally, a right sidestep is taken just to vary the direction of the weaving and, 
even less frequently in, slipping a right lead, getting inside of it to counter with a left. 
It is used in starting a left to the body. 


Sidestepping left: From the fundamental right stance position, bring the left foot 
sharply to the left and forward a distance of about 18 inches. This should carry you 
to the outside of the opponent's right jab. You will find just as you take the step to 
the left, the left side of your body swings forward and the right side back, so that you 
rotate toward the opponent's right flank . As you complete this half -circle movement, 
you will find that your right foot is again in its normal position ahead of the left foot. 


If you have taken the sidestep to the left to avoid the opponent's right lead, you 
should sway your body and duck your head (without losing balance) in the direction 
of the step - that is to the left. His right will swish by, over your head, in the 
direction of your right shoulder. Now, as you wheel to the right toward the opponent, 
you have his whole right flank exposed and can quickly land a left to the body or jaw 
with telling effect. 


Remember this simple thought: Move first the foot closest to the direction you wish 
to go in. In other words, if you wish to sidestep to the left, move the left foot first 
and vice versa. Also, in all hand techniques, the hand moves first, before the foot. 
When foot techniques are used, of course, move the foot first, before the hand. 



Remember also to always retain the fundamental stance. No matter what you do with 
that moving pedestal, the turret carrying the artillery must remain well-poised, a con- 
stant threat to your foe. Aim always to move fluidly but retain the relative position of 
the two feet. 


Examine footw'ork for: 

1. Body feel and control, as a whole, in neutralness. 

2. Attack and defense capability at all times. 

3. Ease and comfort in every direction. 


152 



1 


MOBILITY 


4. Application of efficient leverage during all phases of movement. 

5. Superb balancing at all times. 

6. Elusiveness in well-protected corresponding structure and correct distancing. 


Experiment on the following mechanics and feeling of footwork: 

1. Footwork to be evasive and soft if the opponent is rushing. 

2. Footwork to avoid contact point (as if the opponent is armed with a knife.) 


The ultimate aim is still to obtain the brim of the fire-line on the opponent’s final real 
thrusts. 


Remember, mobility and rapidity of footwork and speed of execution are primary 
qualities. Practice footwork and more footwork. 


Footwork can be gained also by skipping rope (an exercise to learn how to handle 
one’s body weight lightly), sparring (the learning of distance and timing in footwork) 
and shadow kickboxing (homework for sparring). 


Running will also strengthen the legs to supply boundless energy for efficient operation . 


Mobility and 
rapidity of foot- 
work and speed of 
execution are pri- 
mary qualities. 


Increase control of the legs through medium squatting posture exercises and ape- 
imitation movement (low walking). 


Incorporate alternate leg splits for flexibility. 


No matter how simple the strokes being practiced in the lesson are or whether they are 
of an offensive or defensive nature, the practitioner must be made to combine foot- 
work with them. He must be made to advance or retire before , while and after the 
stroke he is working on has been executed. In this way, he will acquire a natural sense 
of distance and develop great mobility. 


Practice footwork variations along with 

1. kicking tools 

2. hand tools 

3. covered hand and/or knee positions 


153 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



EVASIVENESS 

During fighting, there is a good deal of parrying, especially with the rear hand, but it is 
better to use footwork — duck and counter, snap back and return, slip and punch. 




SLIPPING 


Slipping is 
avoiding a blow 
without actually 
moving the body 
out of range* 


Slipping is avoiding a blow without actually moving the body out of range. It is used 
primarily against straight leads and counters* It calls for exact timing and judgment 
and, to be effective, it must be executed so that the blow is escaped only by the 
smallest fraction. 


It is possible to slip either a left or a right lead. Actually, slipping is more often used 
on the forward hand lead because it is safer* The outside slip, that is, dropping to a 
position outside the opponent’s left or right lead, is safest and leaves the opponent un- 
able to defend against a counterattack. 



Slipping is a most valuable technique, leaving both hands free to counter. It is the real 
basis of counter -fighting and is performed by the expert. 


154 


MOBILITY 


Slipping inside a left lead — As the opponent leads a straight left, drop your weight 
back to your rear left leg by quickly turning your right shoulder and body to the left. 




Your left foot remains stationary but your right shoulder pivots inward. This move- 
ment allows his left hand to slip over your right shoulder as you obtain the inside 
guard position. 


Slipping outside a left lead ~ As the opponent leads a straight left, shift your weight 
right and forward over your right leg, swinging your left shoulder forward. The blow 
will slip over your left shoulder. A short step forward and to the right with your right 
foot facilitates the movement. Your hands should be carried high in a guard position. 



Slipping is the real 
basis of counter- 
fighting and is per- 
formed by the 
expert. 


Slipping inside a right lead — As the opponent leads a right punch, shift your weight 
over your lead right leg, thus moving your body slightly to the right and forward. 
Bring your left shoulder quickly forward. In doing so, the punch will slip over your 
left shoulder. Be sure to rotate your left hip inward and bend your left knee slightly 
The inside position is the preferred position for attack. Move your head separately 
only if the slip is too narrow. 


Slipping outside a right lead — * As the opponent leads a right, drop your weight back 
on your left leg and quickly turn your right shoulder and body to the right. Your 
right foot remains stationary and your left toe pivots inward. The punch will slip 
harmlessly by. Drop your right hand slightly, but hold it ready to drive an uppercut 


155 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



It Ls just as 
necessmy to 
learn to duck 
swings and hooks 
as it is to slip 
straight punches. 


to the opponent's body. Your left hand should be held high, near your right shoulder, 
ready to counter to his chin. 


Another method is to shift your weight to your left leg and pivot your right heel out- 
ward so that your right shoulder and your body turn to the left. Drop your right hand 
slightly and keep your left hand high, near your right shoulder. 


When slipping, the shoulder roll will shift your head — don’t tilt it unnaturally. 


Try to always hit on the slip, particularly when moving forward. You can hit harder 
when stepping inside a punch than when you block and counter or parry and counter. 


The key to successful slipping often lies in a little movement of the heel. For example, 
if it is desired to slip a lead to the right so that it passes over your left shoulder, your 
left heel should be lifted and twisted outwards. Transferring your weight to your 
right foot and twisting your shoulders will set you up nicely to counter. 


To slip a lead over your right shoulder with a defensive movement to the left, your 
right heel should be twisted in similar fashion. Your weight is thus shifted to your 
left foot and your left shoulder is to the rear, so you are favorably placed to counter 
with a right hook. 


If you remember that the shoulder over which you desire to slip a blow and the heel 
to be twisted are one and the same, you will not go far wrong. Exceptions are move- 
ments similar to the first description of “slipping outside a right lead.” 


DUCKING 

Ducking is dropping the body forward under swings and hooks (hands or feet) directed 
at the head. It is executed primarily from the waist. Ducking is used as a means of 
escaping blows and allowing the fighter to remain in range for a counterattack. It is 
just as necessary to learn to duck swings and hooks as it is to slip straight punches. 
Both are important in counterattacks. 


THE SNAP BACK 

The snap back means simply to snap the body away from a straight lead enough to 
make the opponent miss. As the opponent's arm relaxes to his body, it is possible to 



MOBILITY 


move in with a stiff counter* This is a very effective technique against a lead jab and 
may also be used as the basis of the one -two combination blow. 



The fundamental 

— - ■ * asset of the clever 

ROLLING fighter is the 

sliding roll. 

Rolling nullifies the force of a blow by moving the body with it* 

# Against a straight blow, the movement is backward * 

# Against hooks, the movement is to either side. 

# Against uppercuts, it is backward and away * 

# Against hammers, it is a circular movement down to either side . 


THE SLIDING ROLL 

The fundamental asset of the clever fighter is the sliding roll. He spots the punch or a 
high kick coming, perhaps instinctively, and takes one step back, sweeping his head 
back and underneath. He is now in a position to come up with several handy blows or 
kicks into nice openings* 


THE BODY SWAY 
(bob and weave) 

The art of swaying renders the fighter more difficult to hit and gives him more power, 
particularly with the hook. It is useful in that it leaves the hands open for attack, im- 
proving the defense and providing opportunities to hit hard when openings occur. 

157 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Weaving is 
used to make 
an opponent miss 
and to sustain a 
counterattack 
with both hands. 


The Key to swaying is relaxation and the stiff, rigid type of boxer must be easier to 



2. Bring your fists in toward your opponent for guarding or attacking. 


3. Maintain a nearly normal punching position with your legs and feet, even at 
the bottom of the bob. Use your knees to provide the motion. 

4. Maintain at all times the normal slipping position of your head and shoulders 
for defense against straight punches. It is extremely important that you be 
in position to slip at any stage of the bob. 

5. Don't counter on a straight-down bob except, perhaps, with a straight thrust 
to the groin. Weave to apply delayed counters with whirling straight 
punches or hooks. 


Purposes of the weave: 

1. To make a moving target of your head (from side to side). 

2. To make your opponent uncertain about which way you will slip if he 
punches at you. 

3. To make your opponent uncertain about which fist you will throw when 
you punch. 


Weaving means moving the body in, out and around a straight lead to the head. It is 
used to make an opponent miss and to sustain a counterattack with both hands. 
Weaving is based on slipping and is a circular movement of the upper trunk and head, 
right or left. 



a) 



Weaving to the inside — On a right lead, slip to the outside position (figure A). Drop 
your head and upper body, move in under the extended right lead and then up to the 


158 



MOBILITY 


basic position. The opponents right lead now approximates your left shoulder 
(figure B). Carry your hands high and close to your body. As your body moves to 
the inside position, place your open right hand on the opponent’s left. Later, counter 
with a right blow on the slip, then a left and right as the weave is performed. 


Weaving to the outside — As the opponent leads a right punch, slip to the inside 
position (figure B) and place your right hand on the opponent’s left. Now, move your 
head and body to the left and upward in a circular movement so that the opponent’s 
right lead approximates your right shoulder. Your body is now on the outside of the 
opponent’s lead and in the basic position (figure A). Carry both hands high and close. 


Remember, weaving is based on slipping and thus, mastery of slipping helps to obtain 
skill in weaving. It is more difficult than slipping, but a very effective defense maneu- 
ver once perfected. 


The weave is rarely used by itself. Almost invariably, the weave is used with the bob. 
The purpose of the bob and weave is to slide under the opponent’s attack and get to 
close-quarters. The real bobber-weaver is always a hooking specialist. It is the perfect 
attack for one to use against taller opponents. Break your rhythm often when you 
use it. Don’t be a rhythmatic bobber-weaver. Sometimes when you slip inside a 
punch, you counter terrifically as you step . Evasiveness should not be practiced with- 
out hitting or kicking to counter. 


Almost every 
fighter at one 
time or another 
reaches a danger- 
ous spot where he 
loses some of his 
command and 
must protect 
himself. 


In addition, while the punches are coming, keep your eyes open every minute. The 
punches will not wait for you. They will strike unexpectedly and, unless you are 
trained well enough to spot them, they will be hard to stop. 


The elbows and forearms are used for protection against body punches. Blows aimed 
at the head axe swept aside by the hand when you are not sliding and countering. 



Almost every fighter at one time or another reaches a dangerous spot where he loses 
some of his command and must protect himself. When this time comes, it is wise to 
have learned good defense. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



ATTACK 

There is nothing much in this art. Take things as they are. 
Punch when you have to punch ; kick when you have to kick. 


160 



ATTACK 


ATTACK! 

There is little direct attack in Jeet Kune Do. Practically all offensive action is indirect, 
coming after a feint or taking the form of countering after an opponent’s attack is 
foiled or spent — it requires agile maneuvering, feinting and drawing an opponent, a 
scientific plan. 

There are two basic moments for attack: 

1. When our own will decides the time of attack. 

2. When the moment of attack depends upon the opponent’s movement or the 
failure of his action. 


If a fighter concentrates sufficiently, senses the moment to attack and acts upon it 
swiftly and decisively, the prospects of success are greatly enhanced. 


Conserve your 
energy but attack 
decisively, confi- 
dently and with a 
single mind. 


1. Survey: The survey is entirely mental and could be sub-divided into two parts. 

a. Definable: B'or instance, the estimation of the correct distance 

between the fighters or the appearance of an opening. 

b. Instinctive: Whether the opponent will attack or retire. 

2. Decision: This is also a mental function, but the nerves and muscles are alerted in 

preparation for execution. During this phase, the fighter decides how 
to attack. For example, should it be from a short distance with a direct 
attack or should he, from a longdistance, use a compound attack? 
Alternatively, he could attack with a second intention or in any other 
way he considers will be successful. 

3. Action: The brain has given the muscles the order which they now execute, but 

even in the execution, the fighter has to be prepared for the possibility 
of an interception, counter, etc. Thus, it is both essential and obvious 
that mental and physical alertness be maintained throughout the fight. 


Conserve your energy but attack decisively, confidently and with a single mind. 


There will be an even better chance of success if the direct attack is launched when the 
opponent is moving his arm away from the line in which one wishes to attack. This is 
important. 


The Psychophysical Process of Attack 


161 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Attacks on 
the completion 
are made after 
the opponent has 
brought himself 
within thrust- 
ing range on 
his lunge* 


Primary and Secondary Attack 
Primary 

These are attacks initiated by oneself with the intention of scoring by pace, fraud or 
force . 

Pace: A direct attack is made on the lunge to hit the opponent with superior 

neatness and quickness before he can parry, without any attempt to 
disguise the direction of the attack. 

Fraud: An indirect attack may be used to deceive or evade with the first half 

of the thrust. A feint may precede the attack to induce your opponent, 
through some preliminary movement, to think that you are going to 
hit him in one particular line* On his offering a parry to protect that 
line, you may then deceive it and be free to complete the attack by 
lunging in another line. 

Force: Upon finding your opponent covered, you attack his hand with 

sufficient vigor to turn it aside and make an opening for your hand 
on the lunge. 


Secondary 

These are attacks intended to out-maneuver or retaliate attacks initiated by the oppo- 
nent in one or another of their different stages. 


Attacks on the preparation are used to arrest his movement before he matures his plan. 


Attacks on the development are principally “time” attacks. Having anticipated in 
what line your opponent’s attack will be delivered, you intercept his arm as he begins 
his attack and meet him by straightening in the counter. 


Attacks on the completion are made after the opponent has brought himself within 
thrusting range on his lunge. These ripostes are made from the position of the parry, 
whatever it may be, once the opponent’s primary attack has been diverted. They may 
be thrown while the opponent is extended on the lunge or during his act of recovery, 
but they are, almost without exception, unaccompanied by any movement of the foot. 


Decoy or false attacks may be used in any of the three stages as preparation for the 
secondary attacks. Thus used, they are not made with the intention of hitting the 
opponent, but only to lure him into, say, attacking you in some line so that you may 


162 


ATTACK 


disconcert him with an emphatic parry and lead up to an effective return- These 
attacks, therefore, are not made on the lunge for a slight movement of the foot (if any) 
is all that is needed. 


A hit (hand or foot) is made by using the stroke which corresponds to that of the 
opponent, taking advantage of the opportunity to deliver it with proper timing. 


Against an opponent who opens up his target or makes wild actions, for instance, 
counter-timing into his action or stop-kicking into his advanced target or exposed 
areas as he moves forward are particularly effective. 


A fighter who is observant will not carry on stubbornly with strokes that are no longer 
the right ones. So many fighters put down the failure of an offensive stroke to a lack 
of speed rather than to the incorrect choice of stroke. The pro knows better. 


Each fighter, therefore, has to be studied from the several angles of style, tactics and 
cadence before a definite plan of action involving a choice of stroke is finally decided 
upon. 


Fighters can be placed into two main categories: the “mechanical” fighter and the 
“intellectual” fighter. It's easy for the mechanical fighter to give advice because his 
fighting techniques and tactics are the result of the mechanical repetition of strokes, 
bred of a lesson which was purely automatic and lacking an intelligent explanation of 
the why , the how and the when . Their fighting follows a similar pattern in each 
successive encounter. 


The intelligent 
fighter will never 
hesitate to change 
tactics in order to 
use the correct 
strokes to deal 
with his opponent. 


The intelligent fighter will never hesitate to change tactics in order to use the correct 
strokes to deal with his opponent. It must be plain by now that the fighter's decision 
to use any particular stroke must be influenced by his opponent’s technique and 
method of fighting. 


The on-guard position, the alive, controlled parry, the timely simple attack, the sensi- 
tive, well-regulated advance and retreat, the blinding lunge and the speedy, balanced 
recovery must all be learned thoroughly. Acquire the appropriate neuro muscular 
perception of all these so that they only require passing attention and yoik may be 
free to concentrate on your adversary, his ploy and your solution of his attack and 
defense. Freedom of movement, balance and confidence accompany a practiced cer- 
tainty of the fundamental movements. 


163 


i 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



To attack, you must study the adversary’s weaknesses and strengths and take advan- 
tage of the former while avoiding the latter. 


If your opponent has a good hand for parrying, for instance, the attacks should be 
preceded by a beat, press or feint that might disorganize the functioning of the parry. 


All attacking movements must be made as small as possible; that is, with the least 
deviation of the hand necessary to induce the opponent to react. Caution demands 
that the attack should be completed covered, or augmented by any necessary defensive 
tactics whenever possible. 


To attack, 
you must study 
the adversary’s 
weaknesses and 
strengths and take 
advantage of the 
former while 
avoiding the 
latter. 


The form of an attack is generally dictated by the form of defense used by the oppo- 
nent. In other words, between opponents of approximately the same caliber, an 
attack can rarely be successful unless it deceives or outwits the defense. For instance, 
an attack made with a circular movement cannot succeed if the defender meets it with 
a simple or lateral movement in his parry. It is, therefore, essential to correctly antici- 
pate an opponent’s reaction if the attack is to succeed. Your final choice of stroke 
should be based on your observation of the opponent’s reactions, habits and prefer- 
ences. 


It is dangerous for a fighter to launch himself into complicated compound attacks 
where there are several periods of movement-time in which an opponent can land a 
stop-hit. 


The more complicated the attack, the more chance there is of an unpremeditated 
counter-offensive movement being executed out of hand. This being the case, the 
attack proper must remain simple, whatever form the preparation may have taken. 


PREPARATION OF ATTACK 

Because of the wide measure the opponent maintains, the gaining of distance has to be 
“covered” by some action which will momentarily distract the opponent’s attention. 
This action may be: 

1. a variation of distance 

2. attacks on the closer targets (usually lead leg, extended hand, groin) 

3. a combination of the above two 

4. a combination of attacks to disturb 


164 



k 


ATTACK 


A preparation of attack is the action taken by the attacker to make an opening for his 
attack. It usually consists of some movement which will deflect the attacking oppo- 
nent's extended lead or obtain a desired reaction (for an opening) and will afford a 
change of distance. 


An aggressive opponent can often be drawn within distance by a series of steps back- 
ward which are progressively shortened; a waxy opponent can sometimes be maneu- 
vered into the same position by a series of steps forward and backward of varying 
length. 


Fighters resort to preparations in an attempt to obtain some form of reaction from 
their opponents when feints have failed to fulfill that purpose. 


Feints preceded by beats or trappings of the hand can upset the defender's confidence 
and force him to move to a defensive action against his will. His defensive action may 
then be deceived in the attack. 


Beats, change-beats, engagements and changes of engagement will either fix the oppo- 
nent's hand in a parti cuiar line, causing him to contract and slow down his reactions, 
or will make him parry sooner or with less control than he intended. Whatever the re- 
action, it may pave the way for a successful simple attack. 


A preparation of 
attack is the 
action taken by 
the attacker to 
make an opening 
for his attack. 


By deflecting or trapping the hand while stepping forward, the possibility of a success- 
ful stop-hit from the opponent has been limited. Likewise, obstructing the leg as a 
preliminary step is very effective. 


When trapping, make sure the lines are either covered or augmented with trunk sway- 
ing or supplementary guards. The movements must be tight. Also, seize any oppor- 
tunity to stop-hit or time-hit in the midst of trapping. 


Trapping the hand, beats or opposition on the hand can make it difficult for the 
adversary to parry by confusing him. Watch out for disengagement. If he is a habitual 
disengager, stop-hit him by first feinting the preparation, then attacking with the trap. 


When a step forward and an action on the opponent’s hand are made simultaneously, 
it is known as a compound preparation. Its success depends on perfect coordination 
of both the hands and feet. Much time must be given to the practice of this type of 
action. 


165 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Do not hurl 
yourself at your 
opponent, but 
gain and maintain 
distance in a calm 
and precise 
manner. 


Experiment on the above with the idea of using economical trapping to either immo- 
bilize or draw a reaction and then, slipping in a solid, maiming thrust or kick to an 
extremely delicate vital spot. 


When advancing for the preparation of attack, pay particular attention to your balance 
and foot control so that you can halt your movement forward with the least possible 
effort. Short, rapid steps will ensure this, as your center of gravity is less likely to be 
shifted than if you made long and rushed steps. Do not hurl yourself at your oppo- 
nent, but gain and maintain distance in a calm and precise manner. 


If the attack by preparation is repeated too often, it will draw a stop-hit rather than a 
parry. So when you do use the attack by preparation, initiate it with great economy 
and never open the lines more than necessary to trap. Try to shorten your period of 
vulnerability. 


By remembering that though the preparation and the attack form one smooth flow, 
they are actually two separate movements, the fighter will be able to take precautions 
against possible counterattacks. 


When practicing the preparations, the pupil should execute them on his partner's 
engagement, change of engagement and feints . 


SIMPLE ATTACK 

All direct and indirect attacks composed of a single movement are called Ci simple 
attacks ' 3 because their object is to go to the target by the most direct route. 


A direct simple attack is one made into the line of engagement or into the opposite 
line by simply beating the opponent to the punch, or catching him in a moment of 
vulnerability. 


An indirect simple attack is a single movement, the first half of which causes some re- 
action from the opponent so that the second half may be completed opposite the 
original line of engagement into the opening line. 


Any thrust is more likely to be successful if it is made as the line is opening rather than 
as it is being closed. An attack thrown into the opening line gains time because the 



ATTACK 


opponent’s action is committed to moving in the opposite direction, and he must re- 
verse his action or alter it substantially in order to defend. 


When deceiving the opponent’s hand, offensive hand actions are usually made of semi- 
circular or circular movements. 


Indirect attack often makes use of the disengagement or counter-disengagement in 
order to reach the opening line. 


The disengagement is one single movement of passing the hand from the line of en- 
gagement into the opposite line, attacking from a closed line into an open one. To 
time this movement for the execution of the attack means that, for a moment, the 
defense is moving in an opposite direction to that of the attack. Therefore, it is while 
the opponent’s arm is traveling across that the fighter must start his offensive action. 
Similar timing can be obtained from a fighter who is continually making an absence of 
touch and returning to engagement. 


Note: Supplement the disengagement with a parry, an in-line thrust, head movement, 
changing of level, trunk movement, etc. 


When going from a high to a low line or vice versa, a supported disengagement is 
favored. When going from right to left or vice versa, the attacks are done by cutting 
over (moving diagonally across the opponent’s line of engagement). 


The following are the two types of simple attack and the movements on the oppo- 
nent’s part with which they must be timed. It is also a drill that must be returned to 
at regular intervals. 

1 . Direct attack on 

a. the absence of touch 

b. the engagement 

c. the change of engagement 

d. the step forward with and without the above 

2. Indirect attack with disengagement on 

a. the beat 

b. the engagement 

c. the change of engagement 

d. the first three executed with a step forward 


Indirect attack 
often makes use 
of the disengage- 
ment or counter- 
disengagement in 
order to reach the 
opening line. 


167 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The counter-disengagement is the offensive movement that corresponds to the change 
of engagement or to the counter-parry. Its object is to deceive a circular movement, 
not a lateral movement which is the object of disengagement. Unlike the disengage- 
ment, the counter-disengagement does not end in the line opposite to that of the 
opponent. 


Example: The attacker engages his opponent in sixtc (attacker's high outside line). 
The defender disengages in a circular motion to the opposite line. The attacker follows 
circularly, brings the defender’s hand back to the original line and attacks. 


Remember, most people are weak in the low line. Often direct your simple attack, 
disengagement and counter-disengagement toward the low line. Remember also, 
defend while attacking! 


If you wish to make use of any form of attack, the opponent's habits and preferences 
must be observed. Success in simple attack especially, direct or indirect, lies in correct 
selection. The attack must correspond to whatever movement is being or may be made 
by the adversary. Thus, it is dangerous to attack with just anything that comes to 
mind. 

It is dangerous 

to attack with . _ 

just anything that 

comes to mind. The success of simple attack also depends on the correct timing of the movement, 
which must naturally be related to the cadence of the opponent's movements if it is 
not to be caught up in them. 



Simple attacks started within distance of the adversary should land, if properly made, 
provided the adversary does not supplement the parry by retreating. Thus, to be safe, 
induce the opponent to step forward into the '‘within distance area” and nail him 
while he is stepping or merely shifting his weight forward, or when he shows any sign 
of “weightiness,” mentally or physically. 


Use an “innocently detached rhythm” with the opponent. Once into the attack, con- 
centrate on the determination to land with mechanical efficiency and correct timing. 


To ensure the success of a simple attack, coordinate all into a powerful one. Maintain 
a continuous looseness throughout and develop smooth explosive speed. Relax! Any 
tension while awaiting the opportunity to launch the attack (through correctly found 
distance) will only give a short, jerky movement, will cause you to move too soon or 
will give the opponent an indication of your intention. This fact cannot be stressed 
too often. Relaxation will bring about smoothness , precision and speed. Don't forget. 


168 



ATTACK. 


Before initiation — Stay loose but poised. 

Initiation — Be economical; use one continuous movement from a state of neutrality. 

In flight — Employ the most economical use of movement and force along the most 
direct line of attack, backed by tight covering. 

After initiation — Use a quick, natural flow to recover the small phasic bent-knee 
position. 


Emphasize a repetitious drilling of economical form to acquire instinctive initiation, 
speed and length of power and penetration. Remember that acceleration can be in- 
creased by sheer practice and will power. Mechanical repetition is the basis of this. 
Lunge two or three hundred times per day, faster and faster each time. 


It is important to recognize that no amount of science can compensate for the lack of 
striking power, and powerful hitting is terribly discounted unless it is well-timed, rapid 
and accurate. 


Thus, the first step for anyone is learning to hit and kick properly with either limb. 
Hitting and kicking must also be taught in conjunction with footwork. 


Nothing bothers an adversary more than variety in both attack and defense, and it 
eases physical strain by constantly shifting the onus of exertion from one group of 
muscles to another. 


Likewise, nothing is more dangerous than a half-hearted attack; let your attacks fly, 
concerning yourself only with the correct and most determined execution of your 
offensive. 


While attacking, you should look as boldly aggressive as a beast of prey — without be- 
coming reckless — in order to bring pressure at onee upon the adversary's morale. 
Possess the eye of an eagle, the cunning of a fox, the agility and alertness of a cat with 
the courage, aggressiveness and fierceness of a panther, the striking power of a cobra 
and the resistance of a mongoose. 


Simple attack will not always be successful against every opponent. Other means will 
have to be devised as well. Learn as many varied defensive moves and as many useful 
and varied hits as possible; then, you will be able to cope with varied styles as they 
come along. 


Nothing bothers 
an adversary more 
than variety in 
both attack and 
defense. 


169 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



COMPOUND ATTACK 

Between fighters of equal speed and technique whose judgments of distance are main- 
tained correctly, a simple attack is extremely difficult to bring off. The fighter has to 
solve the problem of making up his disadvantage in distance and, simultaneously, gain- 
ing time. By the use of compound attack, he can do so. 


Compound attacks consist of more than one action and may be initiated first by a 
feint, a preparation on the hand or an attack on a closer target, followed immediately 
by the real attack. 


The first movement in a combination should start from the small phasic bent-knee 
stance. It should be initiated from an economical flow without telegraphing — a 
smooth, surprising extension. 


Compound 
attacks may be 
of no avail if they 
are badly timed 
or if a favorable 
opportunity is 
not seized. 


Basically, compound attacks are a combination of the four forms of simple attack: 
thrusts, simple disengagements, counter-disengagements and cut-overs. 


The complexity of the compound attack used is directly related to the opponent’s 
ability to parry the offensive movements made. When choosing the strokes to be used 
in a compound attack, success will depend on a correct anticipation of the form of 
parry (front hand or rear hand, lateral or circular) which the opponent will make in 
answer to the feint or first attack. Before using a compound attack, therefore, it is 
essential to observe and gain some idea of the opponent’s likely reaction. 


Feints must be made sufficiently to impress the opponent. Also, employ the least 
number of feints necessary to achieve success. The more complicated the form of the 
compound attack, the less chance it has of being successful. It is dangerous to attempt 
attacks composed of more than two feints. 


Simple compound attacks, those comprised of just one feint or prior offensive action 
(one-two, low-high, etc.) will have all the more chance of success if they are delivered 
on the opponent’s preparation, in particular on the step forward. 


Compound attacks may be of no avail if they are badly timed or if a favorable oppor- 
tunity is not seized. 


Many compound attacks fail because the attacker forgets to regulate the speed of his 


170 


ATTACK 


feints in such a way that they are moving just ahead of the offensive movement Thus, 
it is essential to find both cadence and preferences in the opponent’s defense. 


Compound attacks may be: 

1. short, fast combinations. Crispy 

2. deep, penetrative (and fast) combinations, Uncrispy 


All blows strive to exert maximum force for what they are worth; that is why some 
need more forceful reinforcement. Thus, the idea of combinations. 


Be exposed to the various paths of combinations and be able to change paths during 
execution. 


During gaps of combinations, insert: 

1. non-commitments to distract the opponent, or to improve positioning or 
the flow. 

2. delicacy to score without destroying the overall balance and flow of the 
combination (finger jabs, finger fan, finger flicks, backhand, palm thrust). 


Use double leads against a man who is slow on his feet or who is exhausted. 


Some boxing combinations (preceded by feints): 



1. right jab/left cross (one-two) 

2 . right j ab /right uppercut 

3. right jab /left cross /right hook 

4. right jab /right upper cut /right hook 

5. right jab/right hook 

6. right jab /body hook 

7. left body thrust/right hook 

8. left body thrust/right body hook 



It is essential to 
find both cadence 
and preferences in 
the opponent’s 
defense. 


171 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Find kicks 
most economical 
for yourself and 
those most di- 
rect to the 
opponent. 


Combinations with Kicking 

Find kicks most economical for yourself and those most direct to the opponent. Use 
the on-guard position for guidance. Kicks in compound attacks may have several 
purposes. 


To disorganize 

1. Hook kick to knee, low stomping side kick, lead hand finger jab, rear hand 
cross or preparation on opponent's hand (trapping) 

2. Direct, fast, groin hook kick to . . . 

# Don’t take eyes off opponent. 

# Don't commit to point of difficulty in recovery. 

# Remember on-guard positioning! 

3. Shin/knee counter stop-kick to . . . 

# at opponent’s initiation 

# during development 

# at completion (in riposte) 

4. Low hand strike to high lead hook kick (against right stancer) 

5. Low hand strike to high reverse hook kick (with rear leg) 

6. Feint high, hook kick low 

7. Feint hook kick low, strike high 

8. Feint side, spinning back kick 

9. Feint side kick, hook kick (lead foot) 

10. Feint lead straight kick, hook kick (lead foot) 

11. Rear foot sweep feint, lead hook kick 


To harass 

1. Direct, fast, groin hook kick and . . . 

2. Direct, fast, shin /knee side kick and . . . 


The follow-up would be affected by whether the opponent is caught flatfooted or on 
the way back. 


To force 

1. Double stepping shin/knee side kick 

2. Side kick led by a reverse hook with the hand 

3. Hook kick led by a reverse hook with the hand 

4. Pursuing side kicks and hook kicks 


172 



ATTACK 


When studying combinations of kicks and hands, re-examine the idea of the most eco- 
nomical moves for yourself and those moves most direct to the opponent in light of 
combination movement. 


Shift back and forth from leg to hand, from hand to leg and vary the heights. Go 
high/low, low/high or safety triples (low/high/low, high/low/high). 


Use natural follow-ups between the lead hand Gab, hook, backfist, shovel path) and 
the rear hand (straight, cross, overhand, hammer). Likewise, find the natural follow- 
ups between the lead leg (side kick, hook, straight, upward, reverse, vertical, horizontal) 
and the rear leg (straight thrusts at various heights, spin kicks, hooks at various 
heights). What are the natural follow-ups between hand and leg or leg and hand? 


Examine the possibilities in all branches of footwork — advancing, retreating, circling 
right, circling left, additional movements like parallel sliding. 


Examine the natural follow-ups for blows that miss or fall short and study their 
defensive accompaniments. Explore the types of opponent reactions to a miss. 


Nurse the on -guard position. Examine all the physical movements in order to facilitate 
returning quickly to the on-guard position and being able to attack and defend from 
wherever you end up or could end up. 


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COUNTERATTACK 



(b ) 

Counterattacking is a subtle art, safer to the man using it and more damaging to his 
opponent. Attacking by force sometimes does little damage because the opponent is 


Count er at ta c king 
is a subtle art, 
safer to the man 
using it and 
more damaging 
to his opponent. 


173 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Any commit- 
ment automatical- 
ly opens an invi- 
tation or target 
area. 


moving in the same direction as the force. His going with the punches removes their 
sting. 

With two evenly-matched competitors, the advantage lies with the man who counters 
because when a man leads, he cannot help but expose more than the one who remains 
on-guard. Any commitment automatically opens an invitation or target area. 



174 


Instead of making a false attack, change of engagement, trapping or beating the hand, 
the invitation may be used to provoke the opponent to attack. The provoker may then 
parry, block or avoid the opponents attack and follow with a counterattack. A 




double hit is the result of the opponent using the same tactic, making an imitation 
with the first hit and hitting into his adversary as he tries to counter. An invitation 
may also be performed by purposely leaving a target area open while in the defensive 
position. 


To counter, you must avoid being hit and succeed in hitting your opponent while, he is 
still out of position as the result of missing you. You must act instinctively and 
instantaneously. This is possible through faithful drilling. Once you learn to counter 
instinctively, you can devote your awareness to your broad plan of battle. 


According to boxing, avoiding your opponents lead, the first part of counterfighting, 
may be done in three ways: 


1. Make him miss by slipping it, ducking it or drawing away from it. 

2. You can guard or deflect straight punches by turning them away from you, 
causing them to miss and expend themselves. 

3. You can block the punch with a part of your body which can stand this 
punching — few blocks are recommended. It is much better for you and 
more tiring for the opponent if he misses. 


Any active man can be taught to lead and recover with power and rapidity became the 
motions are more or less mechanical and he can choose his own time for starting the 
“machinery.” It is far different with countering; the “leader” chooses the time and 
also that portion of his target about to be exposed. The man who counters is in a 
somewhat similar'position to one who starts a race at his opponent’s “Go!” 


Once you learn to 
counter instinct- 
ively, you can de- 
vote your aware- 
ness to your 
broad plan of 
battle. 


Anticipation is the secret of countering and therefore it is preferable to feint your man 
into making a lead rather than to wait for him to do so. 


A counterattack is an offensive action delivered on the opponent's attack in such a 
way that it gains a period of “movement-time” from it. 


Counters are simple combinations of the most elementary defensive and offensive 

moves. 


# 

# 


Avoidance of the opponent’s lead by defensive means. 
Delivery of corresponding counter hits. 


175 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The counter- 
attack calls for 
the greatest skill, 
the most perfect 
planning and the 
most delicate 
execution of 
all fighting 
techniques. 


Samples 

LEAD COUNTER 


1 . 

jab 

1 . 

snap back, counter jab 

2. 

jab 

2. 

slip outside, counter jab 

3. 

lead swing or hook 

3. 

guard with rear forearm and 
counter jab 

4. 

jab 

4. 

push aside with rear hand 
shovel body hook with lead 

5. 

rear swing or hook 

5. 

beat opponent to punch with 
fast jab 

6. 

jab 

6. 

slip inside, rear hand body blow 
for counter 

7. 

jab 

7. 

slip inside, left cross 

8. 

lead swing or hook 

8. 

beat opponent to punch with 
left cross 

9. 

rear cross 

9. 

duck under, counter to groin 
or weave to left body thrust 

10. 

rear cross or swing 

10. 

guard with lead forearm, return 
with left jab 


When practicing counters, first, work on good form and later, on speed. 


Always follow up and press your advantage after countering until the opponent goes 
down or fights back. 


The counterattack is not a defensive action but a method of using an opponent’s 
offense as a means to the successful completion of one’s own attack. The counter- 
attack is an advanced phase of offense requiring a foreknowledge of specific openings 
which will result from attack by the opponent. 


The counterattack calls for the greatest skill, the most perfect planning and the most 
delicate execution of all fighting techniques. It uses as tools all the main techniques: 
blocking, guarding, parrying, slipping, bobbing and weaving, ducking, sidestepping, 
feinting, drawing and shifting. It uses all phases of grappling, kicking and hitting. Be- 
sides a mastery of techniques* the counterattack requires exact timing, unerring judg- 
ment and cool, calculating poise. It means careful thought, daring execution and sure 
control. It is the greatest art in fighting, the art of the champion. 


176 



ATTACK 


There are numerous counters which may be used for every lead, but for each particular 
occasion, there is one counter that is most effective in that situation. Action must be 
instantaneous and where there is a wide choice of action, instant action is difficult, 
if not impossible, unless the right action has been previously conditioned. Condition- 
ing (guided by overall awareness), then, becomes the keystone of the counterattack. 


Conditioning is a process whereby a specific stimulus will cause a specific reaction. A 
repeated stimulus eventually creates an action pattern in the nervous system. Once 
this pattern is established, the mere presence of the stimulus will cause the specific 
action. Such action is instantaneous and almost unconscious, which is necessary for 
effective countering. Conditioned action should be the result of intense and concen- 
trated practice of planned action patterns in response to every lead. 


Such action should be practiced slowly for hours, days, weeks, always in response to 
certain leads. Finally, the lead itself will automatically bring the right counter. 


Fighting should be done with the head, not with the hands or feet It is true that 
during the time of actual fighting, one does not think of how to fight but rather, of 
the weakness or strength of the opponent, of possible openings and opportunities. 
Fighting will never reach the stage of a true art unless performance of skill is made 
automatic and the cortex freed to think and to associate, to make plans and to judge. 
The higher nerve centers always retain control and will act when necessary. It is like 
pressing a button to start or stop a machine. 


Conditioning is a 
process whereby a 
specific stimulus 
will cause a 
specific reaction. 


In a consideration of countering, there are three factors that must be understood: 

1. the lead of the opponent 

2. the method of avoiding the lead 

3. the counterblow, kick or grappling itself 


1. The lead of the opponent is important in that it determines the side of the body 
open to attack. A right lead exposes the right side of the body, while a lead with the 
rear hand exposes almost all of the upper trunk. 

2. To avoid leads , it must be decided whether the counterattack should be one or 
two-handed. Blocking, guarding, stopping, parrying, a 11 leave one hand with which to 
counter. Such maneuvers as slipping, sidestepping, ducking, bobbing and weaving, 
feinting, drawing, and shifting allow a two-handed attack. 

3. The counter blow depends on the method used in avoiding the opponent's lead as 
well as upon the lead itself. 

First: have opponent committed and out of form. 


177 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Fit in har- 
moniously to 
form a single 
functional 
unit. 


Second: fit in harmoniously to form a single functional unit. 

Third: coordinate all power to attack his weakness. 


Right Lead Hand Count ere for a Straight Right Lead 
By blocking or stopping 

1. Catch the opponent's lead in your left hand while stepping right, then drive a 
straight right lead to his chin. 


By parrying 

1. Parry to the outside guard position and hook the right to his solar plexus. 

2. Parry to the outside position and hook the right to his chin, 

3. Parry to the outside position and deliver a right shovel hook to his chin. 

4. Parry to the inside position and drive a straight right lead to his chin. 

5. Parry to the inside position and hook the right to his solar plexus. 

6. Parry to the inside position and deliver a right shovel hook to his solar plexus. 


By slipping 

1. Slip to the outside guard position and hook the right to his chin. 

2. Slip to the outside position and hook the right to his solar plexus. 

3. Slip to the outside position and drive a right uppercut to his solar plexus. 

4. Slip to the outside position and drive a straight right to his chin. 


By sidestepping 

1. Sidestep to the outside guard position and hook the right to his chin. 

2. Sidestep to the outside position and hook the right to his solar plexus. 

3. Sidestep to the outside position and drive a right uppercut to his chin. 

4. Sidestep to the outside position and drive a straight right lead to his chin. 


Left Rear Hand Counters for a Straight Right Lead 
By parrying 

1. Parry to the inside guard position with the left hand, then drive the left hand to 
the opponent’s chin. 

2. Cross-parry with the right hand to the inside position and drive a straight left 
to his side. 


178 



ATTACK 


By slipping 


1 . 

2 . 

3. 

4. 
5* 


Slip to the inside 
Slip to the inside 
Slip to the inside 
Slip to the inside 
Slip to the inside 


guard position and hook the left to his body, 
position and drive a straight left to his body, 
position and drive a straight left to his chin, 
position and cross a left hook to his chin, 
position and drive a straight left to his solar plexus. 


By sidestepping 

1. Sidestep to the outside guard position and drive a left cross to his chin. 

2. Sidestep to the outside position and drive a left to his body. 

3. Sidestep to the inside position and drive a left uppercut to his chin. 

4. Sidestep to the inside position and drive a left shovel hook to his chin. 

5. Sidestep to the inside position and drive a left uppercut to his solar plexus. 


Right Lead Hand Counters for a Straight Left Rear Lead 


Coordinate all 
power to attack 
his weakness. 


By slipping 

1. Slip to the inside guard position and hook the right to his solar plexus. 

2. Slip to the inside position and hook the right to his chin. 

3. Slip to the outside position and cross the right to his chin or body. 


By parrying 

1. Cross parry with the left hand to the inside guard position and hook the right to 
his chin. 

2. Cross parry with the left hand to the inside position and hook the right to his 
abdomen. 


By sidestepping 

1. Sidestep to the inside guard position and drive a straight right to his chin. 

Left Rear Hand Counters for a Straight Left Rear Lead 
By parrying 

1. Parry with the right hand to the inside guard position and drive a straight left to 
his chin or body. 

179 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



2 ; Parry with the right hand to the inside position and hook the left to his chin or 
body. 

3. Parry with the right hand to the inside position and drive a left uppercut to his 
chin or solar plexus. 

4. Parry with the right hand to the outside position and hook the left to his chin or 
solar plexus. 

5. Parry with the right hand to the outside position and drive a left uppercut to his 
chin or solar plexus. 


By slipping 

1. Slip to the outside guard position and hook the left to his chin or body. 

2. Slip to the outside position and drive a left uppercut to his chin or body. 

3. Slip to the outside position and drive a straight left to his face or body. 

4. Slip to the inside position and drive a left shovel hook to his solar plexus. 


By sidestepping 


The inside parry 
and right hook 
to the body is a 
jarring, sickening 
blow used to slow 
up an opponent 


1. Sidestep to the outside guard position and hook the left to his chin or body. 

2. Sidestep to the outside and drive a left uppercut to his solar plexus. 


The inside parry and right jab is a straight right timed so as to take advantage of the 
opening left by the opponent’s jab. It is a fundamental counter used consciously or 
unconsciously by almost every fighter. It is used to avoid the opponent’s jab and, at 
the same time, to sting and jar him. It is used to set up openings for other counters as 
well. It is used best against a slow jab. 


The outside parry and right jab is a jab delivered after slipping the opponent’s lead over 
the right shoulder. It is a safe way to avoid a right lead while dealing out punishment 
at the same time. It is best used against the long-armed opponent as it adds length to 
the right arm. The right jab is parried and held momentarily to the right shoulder. 

The more the opponent steps in with his jab, the more severely he will be hit. It 
should be used in combination with jabbing from the inside position . 


The inside parry and right hook to the body is a jarring, sickening blow used to slow up 
an opponent. It is rather dangerous to execute as it brings the body within range of 
the opponent’s left hand. As the right hand and shoulder drop, the'right side of your 
body becomes a target for the opponent. Therefore, it must be used suddenly and de- 
pends entirely upon speed and deception for its success. 


180 



1 


ATTACK 

The outside parry and right hook is used to bring down the opponent's guard to create 
openings for the left hand and to slow up an opponent. It is easy, safe and effective. 

It often becomes an uppercut rather than a hook. 


The inside block and left hook is first a block and then, a blow. It should be used 
against a slow jab or against the fighter who carries his right lead hand well out from 
his shoulder It is a powerful blow but requires more practice and more accurate 
timing than most counters. It requires blocking a right lead from the inside, then 
shifting the weight forward and hooking the left to the chin. It is not advisable to use 
unless the opening is apparent. 


The left cross is one of the most talked about blows in Western boxing and is the 
counter most often used by all boxers. Delivered properly, it exerts terrific force. It is 
merely a left hook to the jaw crossed over an opponent's extended straight right lead. 
The opponent's jab is slipped over the left shoulder and the left hand is then hooked 
from the outside across to the chin. It is easy to execute and is really a finishing blow. 


The straight inside left is a straight left timed to cross under and inside an opponent's 
right lead. It is best used against an opponent who steps well in with his right lead and 
particularly in conjunction with the outside parry and right jab or right cross. It is a 
set-up or finishing blow, is easy to time and carries terrific power. The right hand must 
be carried high, in position to stop or guard. 


A riposte is an 
attack (or more 
accurately a coun- 
terattack) follow- 
ing a parry. 


The inside left to the ribs is a sucker punch in that it takes advantage of a natural open- 
ing created by any right lead. It is difficult to guard against. It is a straight left timed 
so as to drive underneath an opponent's right arm as he jabs and is used to slow up an 
opponent or to “shorten his arm.” 


To minimize danger of a counter: 

1. Feint to disturb your opponent's rhythm, causing him to “un-set” as well as lose 
a period of movement-time. 

2. Change your body position during attack by slipping left and right, changing 
levels suddenly (ducking), swaying (bob and weave). 

3. Use a constantly changing variety of attacks and defenses. 


RIPOSTE 

A riposte is an attack (or more accurately a counterattack) following a parry. 


181 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The- choice of riposte, like the choice of attack, is determined by the type of defensive 
movement one thinks that the opponent is likely to adopt against it. The opponent's 
reactions can only be ascertained by observing his usual hand movements when re- 
covering from an unsuccessful attack . 


Direct riposte is delivered in the same line as that of the parry. It is comprised of only 
one direct movement (in-line covering, supplementary defense, trunk movement, etc.). 
The choice of using direct riposte rests on the reaction and habits of the opponent — 
observe, deduce and apply the correct stroke. 


Indirect riposte (by disengagement, counter-disengagement, cut>over) is made in the 
line opposite to that of the parry by passing the hand under, over or around the oppo- 
nent's hand. It is used against a fighter who covers after being parried. Make it 
smooth, economical and covered* 


Types of Riposte 


The immediate 
riposte is the 
most effective as 
it forces the op- 
ponent to be on 
the defensive. 


1. SIMPLE RIPOSTE 
a. direct 

b* indirect 

2. COMPOUND RIPOSTE 

a. composed of one or more feints 

3. Simple or compound ripostes terminating in the low line 


Any of these ripostes can be executed immediately after a parry, or can be delayed . 
Also, the riposte can be given with or without the help of a lunge. Whether the lunge 
should be used is determined solely by the opponent's speed of recovery from the 
attack. 


Generally, the immediate riposte is the most effective as it forces the opponent to be 
on the defensive. To ensure its effectiveness, the parry and riposte must be made just 
as the attack is ending and before the opponent has an opportunity to change from 
offense to defense. This form is known as “ parrying and riposting on the final of the 
attack,” and implies that the defender is morally certain of the line in which the attack 
will end. The immediate riposte on the final of the attack may be done crispy, into a 
direct combination, or it may be non-crispy to adhere and maim. 


182 


The delayed riposte is where one hesitates in his choice of riposte after the parry, 
looking for his opponent's reaction. The opponent, used to a direct riposte, might 



ATTACK 


automatically go for a parry and, in finding no hand, is apt to become flustered by 
this change of cadence and lose some control in his defense. The delayed riposte may 
be a combination attack or one with feinting. 


Applications of simple riposte: 

1. The direct riposte is executed against a fighter who, when on the lunge, 
commits the error of bending his arm preparatory to recovery, thus leaving 
himself exposed in the line of the parry. 

2. The indirect riposte (by disengagement or cut-over) is used against an oppo- 
nent who, expecting a direct riposte, covers in the line in which he has been 
parried. Sometimes he covers intentionally; often it is merely an instinctive 
movement. Whatever the reason, if this covering is successful, the riposter 
must anticipate and deceive it by a simple disengagement. 

3. The riposte by counter-disengagement is made against an opponent who, 
when on the lunge or recovering, does not remain in the line of the parry, 
but changes his engagement — in other words, takes a counter. The counter- 
disengagement deceives his change of engagement. This form of riposte is 
particularly useful from the right stance when dealing with a left stancer. 

4. The riposte in low line is the choice made against an opponent who ends his 
attacks correctly covered and who recovers with his arm extended, thus, 
leaving only his lower target open. 


The compound riposte is a counter offensive movement after the parry composed of 
one or more feints. Example: 

Compound riposte of one-two, following the parry of counter sixte — The 
attacker, having been brought back Lo the line of sixte by the counter and 
anticipating the direct riposte, covers in sixte. The riposter, then, main- 
taining his bent arm, feints a disengagement, draws the attacker’s parry of 
quarte and, still with a bent arm, deceives it, finally thrusting the riposte 
in sixte. 


Again, timing is all-important. A parry and riposte are most effective if made as the 
attack is completing its course. At this point, the time available to the opponent, to 
change from attack to defense is cut to the minimum. Consequently, the riposte has 
the best chance to succeed before the attacker can parry it. 



Knowing the 
nature of an 
opponent’s stroke, 
it will not be diffi- 
cult to time it and 
turn it to one’s 
advantage. 


By reacting purposely to an opponent’s exploratory moves in one definite way, it is 
often possible to induce him to use a particular stroke. Knowing the nature of his 
stroke, it will not be difficult to time it and turn it lo one's advantage. 


133 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Many fighters 
commit the error 
of leaning back 
on their rear leg 
when defending 
themselves* 


The counter-riposte is an offensive movement which follows a successful parry of the 
riposte* It can be delivered by either the attacker or the defender and can be simple or 
compound. It can be executed while on the lunge, while recovering, after having re- 
covered or without a lunge, according to the distance. 


Counter-riposte may be the result of second intention. By second intention, we mean 
that the original attack has been made, not with the object of hitting, but only to draw 
a parry and riposte from the defender in order to riposte from it in turn. This succes- 
sion of offensive and defensive actions executed by the attacker is usually used against 
an opponent whose original defense is very strong, and where it is hoped that a second 
offensive action will catch him unprepared. The attacker can make either a half re- 
covery after the initial false attack or shift the weight of his body back to his rear leg 
when parrying. Thus, he places himself out of range of the dangerous riposte. He can 
then counter-riposte with a half -lunge or by leaning his body forward. 



RENEWED ATTACK 


When the opponent retreats without troubling to parry, the redoublement (in boxing) 
or remise (in fencing) can be useful. It is a renewed attack or replacement of the 
weapon on the target in the same line as that of the original offensive or counter- 
offensive action. It is a stroke that may also be aimed at an advanced target such as 
the shin or knee and is designed to penalize an opponent who, riposting indirectly or 
compoundly, uncovers himself because his movements are too wide. 


The renewed attack is very effective against fighters who, although having a strong de- 
fense, hesitate to riposte or are slow in doing so. Often, this is because they tried to 
parry but were off-balance. 


184 


And, many fighters commit the error of leaning back on their rear leg when defending 
themselves instead of taking a short step back. In such cases, attack the rear weight- 
bearing foot. 


ATTACK 


The success of a renewed attack depends, to a very great extent, on the rapidity of the 
recovery forward (footwork again! ), The opponent must not be allowed to regain any 
loss of balance (physical or psychological) or control which the initial attack may have 
cost him. 


Generally, the recovery forward is accompanied by an attack on the arms. The ad- 
vantages are: 

1. filling in the time lag caused by the recovery forward. 

2. occupying the opponent’s mind during that period and thus, minimizing the 
risk that he might stop-hit or riposte belatedly, 

3. finding some degree of support by holding the opponent’s arm during 
recovery. 


Although a renewed attack on the spur of the moment is possible, to do so does not 
make certain that a period of movement-time will be gained. In most cases, its use as a 
stroke is premeditated as a result of observing the opponent’s habits and tactics. 


Following the recovery forward, the renewed attack itself may include the following 



1. straight thrust 

2. feint of a straight thrust followed by an indirect simple attack or a 
compound attack 

3. a preparation on the hand (beat, trap) followed by a simple or compound 
attack 


Tactics are the 
brainwork of 
fighting. 





Tactics are the brainwork of fighting. They are based on observation and analysis of 
the opponent and on intelligent choices of actions against him. The tactical approach 


185 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The tactical ap- 
proach consists of 
three parts: pre- 
liminary analysis, 
preparation and 
execution. 


consists of three parts: preliminary analysis, preparation and execution. 

Preliminary analysis: The purpose of the preliminary analysis is to lay the foundation 
by scrutinizing the opponent's habits, virtues and faults. The fighter should know 
whether his opponent is aggressive or defensive, whether he likes to make action on 
time and what his favorite attacks and parries are. Observe him closely, for even if you 
know him, a fighter's physical and mental condition varies from day to day. The 
tactical fighter should shorten and lengthen the distance and make use of false attacks 
that are persuasive enough to force the opponent to reveal the quality and speed of 
his reactions. 



186 



ATTACK 


Preparation: It is during the preparation of the action that each fighter looks for cues 
and tries to outwit his opponent. The variations are endless, but a few examples may 
be pointed out. For instance, the fighter who plans to score on the attack has to take 
the initiative and keep control of the play. He attempts to mislead his opponent by 
sometimes making a false attack followed by a real attack to a different area or to the 
same target area. The lines and positions should be varied in order not to give the 
opponent a free moment in which to seize the initiative. 


The preparation of the attack should be cautious and the fighter must always be ready 
to parry if the opponent tries to make a sudden stop-hit or counterattack. 

Execution: The execution of the real attack must be done with proper timing, quick- 
ly, without break or hesitation. It must be a conscious, accelerated, determined and 
decisive movement. Surprise is vital and the fighter must believe in its successful out- 
come. If the opponent takes the initiative, the fighter must discourage him by con- 
stant threat of counterattack, by short thrusts or strikes, by beating his guard or by 
other means which will disturb his concentration. 


If physical qualities between fighters arc equal, intellectual superiority helps to achieve 
victory. Between equally intelligent fighters, mechanical and technical knowledge can 
be decisive. 


A fighter must reach a fair standard of technical ability before he can apply tactics 
successfully. Once the mechanics can be made automatically, only then can the mind 
concentrate on discovering the opponent’s reactions, anticipating his intentions and 
devising the strategy and tactics required to boat him. 


Tactics require cool judgment, anticipation, opportunism, bluff and counter-bluff and 
the ability to think at least one move ahead . These are combined with courage and the 
controlled reaction of muscles and limbs which enable the fighter to carry out simple 
or complex movements as required by the situation at any given moment. 


It has been said that the fighter's thoughts and actions must be like one flash of light- 
ning. Coordination of mind and body is certainly the secret of success in fighting. 
Mechanical perfection is useless in fighting without the ability to think and, likewise, 
the most intelligent analysis of an opponent’s game will not ensure success unless the 
requisite fighting stroke can be devised and applied in the proper manner. 


A fighter must 
reach a fair stan- 
dard of technical 
ability before he 
can apply tactics 
successfully. 


187 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The basic key 
to fighting tactics 
is to take advan- 
tage of the weak- 
ness of the 
opponent. 


The basic key to fighting tactics is to take advantage of the weakness of the opponent 


Would you attack an opponent when he is all prepared, well-balanced and is either in a 
nervous, wild rhythm or in a well-controlled, educated rhythm? Would you meet an 
angered, rushing opponent head-on? Of course not! A great artist would first control 
distance through adjusting footwork and then, proceed to lead the opponent’s rhythm 
through feints, false attacks and economical peckings. 


It is important to always oppose the opposite tactics to those favored by the opponent 
(box a fighter, fight a boxer). It is obviously unwise to continually attack a fighter 
who relies on his defense, while one should attack without respite the opponent who 
favors using strong and speedy attacks. Counter-time is the answer to the stop-hit 
addict and the stop-hit is a counter to the fighter who uses many feints. 


A fighter with a long reach or one who continually makes renewed attacks, or attacks 
with a step forward, generally requires a wide measure. It is a mistake to always step 
back on the attack or preparations, since this will help the opponent to obtain the 
space he requires to maneuver. Such an opponent will probably be disconcerted and 
lose his precision if the measure is shortened by a step forward into his attack. 


A shorter man tries to make up for his shorter reach by using attacks on the hand as 
preparation, or attacks on advanced (closer). targets, or goes into in -fighting, if he is 
stronger. 


Play with your own cadence to confuse the opponent, then suddenly put on a burst of 
speed. The fundamental tactic is to draw the opponent to step forward and attack as 
he steps. 


A fighter cannot use the same actions against every opponent. A good man should 
vary his game with simple and complex attacks and counterattacks with changes of 
distance, etc. 


188 


Against a calm, quiet fighter, the feints must be longer; against a nervous fighter, the 
feints must be shorter. With the calm fighter, one should remain calm; the nervous 
type should be agitated (while the fighter himself tries to remain calm). Tall fighters 



1 


ATTACK 


are usually slower, but their long reaches are dangerous, so it is essential to keep a safe 
distance (until the inside position can be taken). 


Unconventional fighters use wide, sometimes unexpected motions. Against such 
fighters one must keep his distance and the parries should be taken at the very last 
moment. Unorthodox fighters usually use simple actions and almost always execute 
these in the same tempo. The attacks are made with wide movements, giving a chance 
for timed or stop-hits. The loss of a fight against such an opponent frequently points 
to the fighter's inflexibility and his inability to adapt his style to the requirements of 
the moment. 


Against an opponent who habitually attacks with a preparation on the hand which he 
times to perfection, fighting with* an absence of touch and varying the measure, in 
preference to giving the hand or using an extended on-guard position, will often dis- 
concert the opponent and severely limit his game. 


Against a patient fighter who remains well-covered on-guard, who keeps out of distance 
and evades any attempt to make preparation, it is unsafe to attack directly. Such 
fighters generally make accurate stop-kicks or hits. The obvious answer is to draw his 
stop-hit with menacing feints and complete a second-intention attack, taking his hand, 
maybe to grappling. 


A good man 
should vary his 
game with simph 
and complex at- 
tacks and counte 
attacks with 
changes of dis- 
tance, etc. 


Before attacking an opponent who fences with an absence of touch, false attacks or 
well-marked feints can be used to draw his reaction. If this is a stop-hit, one can pro- 
ceed in counter-time, preferably taking the hand. If he reacts with a parry, one can 
complete a compound attack or score by counter -riposte. On the other hand, the ef- 
fect may be for him to return to engagement, when an appropriate attack can be made. 


The novice’s rhythm, probably irregular, is hard to gauge, rendering long phrases 
dangerous, as he is unlikely to follow the lead being given him. 1 Ie will most certainly 
panic easily and parry at the slightest provocation. These parries, started too soon and 
lacking control, often take the form of whips directed in no particular direction. They 
are apt to catch the attacker’s arm. There is, therefore, every reason to be careful not 
to attack with compound movements against a novice , but to wait for the opportunity 
to launch simple , rapid, economical technique. 


Quite unintentionally, the novice will deliver broken-rhythm attacks, which will fool 
the more experienced fighter who will not be expecting such a rhythm. Thus, it is es- 


180 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



A golden rule 
is never to use 
more complex 
movements than 
are necessary to 
achieve the de- 
sired result. 


sential to maintain a very carefully judged measure, which will force the novice, finally, 
to over-reach to hit. 


A golden rule is never to use more complex movements than are necessary to achieve 
the desired result. Start with simple movements and only introduce compound ones 
when you cannot otherwise succeed. To hit a worthy opponent with a complex move- 
ment is satisfying and shows one’s mastery of technique; to hit the same opponent by 
a simple movement is a sign of greatness. 


Half the battle is won when one knows what the adversary is doing. If, in spite of 
having correctly chosen the corresponding movements, the action fails, the reason 
must be due to faulty techniques. 


Repeat! A good fighter knows every stroke. 


Knowing that opponents are constantly trying to note one’s habits and weaknesses, it 
is obvious that a conscious effort must be made to give variety to one’s game (includ- 
ing the use of feigning certain habits and weaknesses). 


Right-hander versus left-hander: 

The right hook is very effective as an offensive punch, and as a counter punch thrown 
immediately after a short hop back. Remember, a southpaw who uses his right hand 
efficiently along with his normally effective left hand is hard to beat. 


The right-hander must keep his right hand slightly higher and either beat the left-hand- 
er to the punch with a sharp left, or feint with a left-hand punch, hop back, and then 
counter with a sharp left, followed by a right hook. 


Another version is to keep moving to the right, using the right hand a lot for defense 
and the left for attacks to the head and body, more especially to the latter. 


Slipping outside a left-stancer’s elongated left arm or outside his left lead and counter- 
ing with a long left hook to the body is good stuff* 


190 


Gliding in to trap in the engagement of the outside line is advisable before a low side 
kick attack on an extended target. Lean well away from his lead hand while you side 



ATTACK 


1 


kick, Econorriy-flow starting should eliminate his counter lead kick, especially if the 
flow is timed with him shifting his weight forward. Watch that his shifting is not a 
preparation to shooting a rear front snap kick. In this case, you should circle to your 
right as you glide. You might then follow with another lead backfist or whatever in 
another movement period. 

A beat in the engagement of the outside line can be used as preparation for a false 
shin /knee kick, immediately using the one-and-a-haJf rhythm to finish the lead thrust 
to the opponent’s face, over his hand. Use a corresponding supplementary guard for 
either his disengagement to a left lead hook or to a right cross. 

During glides and beats in the engagement of the inside lines of the lefthander before 
any attack, watch out for his right leg and cross. You can minimize his rear thrusts by 
using an economical initiation in the first three inches of your movement. Then, 
circle to your right while using the preparation of your attack. 

Parry and counter parry him to your high inside line. 

Half the battle is 
won when one 
knows what the 
adversary is doing. 


Engage him on the high inside line to disengage and return on his high or low outside 
line. This will compel him to use his weak parries — his high outside parry or slower 
circular, high inside parry. If the attack is to his outside low line, he will use a low 
parry, leaving himself open in the high line. This can become very effective if your 
attack to the low line was a feint. 




Study slipping the left-hander’s left jab while thrusting your right fist to his exposed 
armpit. 


191 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Jf 

% 


To box success- 
fully, you must 
see everything 
that goes on in 
the course of 
your fight. 


Fighting is a game of timing, tactics and bluff. Two of the most effective means to 
this are: 

1. The simple attack from immobility . This will often surprise the opponent, es- 
pecially after a series of false attacks and feints have been executed. The defender is 
subconsciously expecting a preparation or more complex movement and fails to react 
in time to the swift and unannounced simple movement. 

2. The variation of rhythm or cadence made prior to or during an attack . This may 
achieve the same element of surprise. For example, a series of judiciously slowed- 
down feints and slow gaining and breaking ground may be used to “put the opponent 
to sleep.” A final movement that suddenly erupts at highest speed will often take him 
unawares. Again, some rapid feints followed by a deliberately slowed-down or broken- 
time final movement will often disconcert a vigilant opponent. 


Some fighters form the habit of withdrawing the hand or foot when a hit is directed 
towards it. Such fighters are vulnerable to an immediate renewal of the attack by a 
quick lunge. 


Sometimes, a number of feints in the high line can pave the way for a sudden dis- 
engagement to the knee. 


Preparation on the knee and trapping the hand or foot while obstructing the oppo- 
nent’s leg are much used to reduce the movement- time factor. Conversely, attacks on 
preparation are particularly effective. 


A broken-time attack, making a pause before delivering the final movement, can be 
very effective in deceiving the opponent as to the attacker’s intention. 


One way to find the opponent’s reaction is to launch a simple attack just out of dis- 
tance so he will still have to parry. Wait for his riposte, deflect it and carefully select 
the target area for the counter-parry 


Watch your opponent! Never look away from him during the actual fighting. To box 
successfully, you must see everything that goes on in the course of your fight. The 
place to watch in long-range fighting is your opponent’s eyes. Notice where animals 
look when they fight. When in-fighting, look either at your opponent’s feet or at his 
waist. 


192 



ATTACK 


Take the play away from your opponent and try to get him on the defensive; keep him 
guessing what you are going to do next. Don’t give him any rest if you can help it. Hit 
from all angles. When jabbing with your right, make it a double shot. Discover your 
opponent’s weakness. Find out what bothers him the most. Concentrate your attack 
on that flaw in his defense and never ease up. Make him fight the type of contest he 
fights worst. 


Keep moving, thereby preventing him from getting set to punch and making him miss. 
Circle and sidestep his rushes. When he gets off balance, be all over him. Follow up 
advantages. 


Don’t waste motion. Have a purpose in every action of deception, defense or attack. 
Don’t telegraph any punches. 

# Attack with confidence. 

# Attack with accuracy. 

# Attack with great speed. 


In retrospect, all aggressive arm actions, no matter how simple or complex, stem from 
one or more of three fundamentals: the beat or preparation on the lead hand or foot 
of the opponent, the disengagement, the simple thrust. 


Any elementary offense or defense through proper strategy and ring generalship may, 
under the right conditions, be used in the most advanced type of fighting. 


Any elementary 
offense or defense 
through proper 
strategy and ring 
generalship may 
be used in the 
most advanced 
type of fighting. 


Training Aids 

During lessons, the master will have made a point of explaining, convincingly , the 
tactical application of each stroke, whether of attack, defense or counterattack. In 
each case, he will have stressed: 

HOW it is done. 

WHY — it is done. 

WHEN it is done. 


If the lessons have included the variety of circumstances in which a stroke may have to 
be used, then again, the pupil is less likely to be surprised by an unfamiliar action. 


Vary your partner and you will not be fixed at a specific tactic or cadence. 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Study the style 
of your opponent 
before deciding 
what combina- 
tions might 
beat him. 


Once more, remember, a successful fighter is one who has learned to select, correctly, 
the strokes he has been taught. 


One of the most important lessons is to master combinations (hands, feet, or both, 
etc.). Then, you must study the style of your opponent before deciding what combi- 
nations might beat him. 


FIVE WAYS OF ATTACK 


Editor’s note: The five ways of attack were the last delineations Bruce was using to 
explain his movements just prior to his death. The incompleteness of 
his notes is most apparent here when compared to the extensive expla- 
nations he gave his personal students. 



SIMPLE ANGLE ATTACK 


SAA — The simple angle attack is any simple attack thrown at an unexpected angle, 
sometimes preceded by feinting. It is often set up by readjusting the dis- 
tance with footwork. Study the elusive lead and simple attack. 


ATTACK 


1 


IMMOBILIZATION ATTACK 


IA — The immobilization attack is performed by applying an immobilizing prepa- 
ration (trapping) on the opponent’s head (hair), hand or leg as you crash the 
line to engagement. The trapping keeps the opponent from moving that 
part of his body, offering you a safety zone from which to strike. Immobili- 
zation attacks can be prepared (set-up) by using any of the other four ways 
of attack and traps can be performed in combination or singularly. Study the 
stop-hit as well. 



Immobilization may be used as a preventive measure when attacking with one hand by 
pinning with the other. It may also be used as a preventive measure when slipping or 
countering. 


Remember, a 
successful fighter 
is one who has 
learned to select, 
correctly, the 
strokes he has 
been taught. 


Using immobilization when an opponent actually intends to deliver a blow requires a 
knowledge of when the opponent is going to lead and depends on speed and skill for 
execution. ^ 


Get body feel on the forearm to use it as a 
destructive weapon. Use a loose clawing snap 
or club along with elbowing. 


PROGRESSIVE INDIRECT ATTACK 



PI A — The progressive indirect attack is preceded by a feint or an uncommitted 

thrust designed to misdirect the opponent’s actions or reactions in order to 


195 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



hit the opening line or gain a period of movement-time. The progressive in- 
direct attack is performed in a single forward motion without a withdrawal, 
as opposed to the single angulated attack preceded by a feint which is actual- 
ly two movements. Study feints and disengagements . 


The principal use of the progressive indirect attack is to overcome an opponent whose 
defense is strong and fast enough to deal with a simple direct attack. It is also used to 
offer variation in one’s pattern of attack. 


Remember, though PIA uses feints and disengagements, each progressive indirect at- 
tack is executed in a single, forward motion. It is progressive to gain distance. To 
shorten the distance, the measure has to be closed by a good half with your first feint. 
Prolong your feint enough to allow your opponent time to react. Leave to your 
second movement only the second half of the distance. Do not wait for the block be- 
fore completing your attack; keep ahead of it. 


Except in rare 
cases, all move- 
ments should be 
made as small 
as possible. 


It is while the opponent’s arm is traveling across, downward, upward, etc., that you 
must start your offensive action. That means, for a moment, his defense is moving in 
an opposite direction to your attack. Your attack, therefore, is made with a dis- 
engagement. 


Except in rare cases, all movements should be made as small as possible, that is with 
the least deviation of the hand necessary to induce the opponent to react. Disengage- 
ments, likewise, should pass very dose to the opponent’s hand. 


To make PIA with the leg more effective, try the one-and-a-half beat. 

O-N-E: The first attack is deep, sudden, economical, well -covered and 

above all, well-balanced. Distinguish between one initiation for 
power (like the reverse hook) and a straight initiation. 

AND-A-HALF: The second half must be a kick that is fast and powerful and 

that does not deviate too much from the on-guard position, as 
in-fighting may be initiated. 


196 


To reach the target, the attacker must deceive the adversary’s forward moving balance, 
his rooted balance, his guards and parries and must catch him in a moment of physical 
or mental unpreparedness. 



ATTACK 


During combinations with feinting in t-he initial progression, loosely change to second 





intention. Pay particular attention to the efficient gap-bridging of the two moves to 
get speed and power. 


ATTACK BY COMBINATION 



Combinations 
set the opponent 
up for a finishing 
knockout blow 
or kick. 


ABC — The attack by combination is a series of thrusts that follow each other 

naturally and axe generally thrown to more than one line. Study compound 
attack and combination punching. 


Attacks by combination are generally composed of set-ups. The term “set-ups 15 de- 
notes a series of blows and/or kicks delivered in a natural sequence. The object is to 
maneuver the opponent into such a position or create such an opening that the final 
blow of the series will find a vulnerable spot. Combinations set the opponent up for a 
finishing knockout blow or kick. 


197 


j 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



The difference 
between an ex- 
pert and a novice 
fighter is that the 
expert makes use 
of each oppor- 
tunity. 


The difference between an expert and a novice fighter is that the expert makes use of 
each opportunity and follows up on each opening. He makes use of his sensitive and 
dominating aura and his imposing rhythm. He delivers his blows and/or kicks in a well- 
planned series, each opening creating another, until finally a clean shot is obtained. 


Some blows seem to be “ follow blows” in that they come after certain leads. For 
instance, the straight left is a follow blow for the right jab, and a right hook is a follow 
blow for the straight left. 


It seems natural to punch straight and then hook and it seems natural to punch first to 
the head and then to the body. 




Follow blows or set-ups have rhythm and feel as their basis. Punching in rhythm is an 
important factor in Western boxing. 


Triple-blows are common in ABC. They may be thrown by first slipping to either the 
outside or inside and then delivering two body blows, followed by a blow to the head. 
The first two blows will bring down the adversary’s guard, opening him up for the 
final thrust. 


Another version of the triple blow set-up is known as the “safety triple.” The safety 
triple is a series of blows which have rhythm as their basis in punching first to the body 
and then to the head or vice-versa. The main thing to remember is that the last blow 
will be to the spot of the first blow. If the first blow is to the jaw, the last blow will 
also be to the jaw. 


198 



ATTACK 


Study also the one-two variations. 




Be exposed to the various paths of combinations and be able to change the path during 
execution. 




t W 

\ 

y/ 

/ 


k) 
\ 


ATTACK BY DRAWING 


ABD — The attack by drawing is an attack or counterattack initiated upon luring the 
opponent into a commitment by leaving him an apparent opening or exe- 
cuting movements that he may try to time and counter. Attack by drawing 
may make use of the previous four ways of attack. Study timing and the 
eight basic defense positions. 


It’s usually best, whenever possible, to draw your opponent into leading before hitting 
out on your own account. By forcing your opponent to commit himself to a decided 
step, you can be moderately certain of what he is about to do. His commitment will 
deprive him of the ability to change his position and guard swiftly enough to deal 
successfully with any offensive you may yourself adopt. 


Remember, 
the whole secret 
of hard hitting 
lies in accurate 
timing, correct 
placement and 
mental appli- 
cation. 


By his mere action of hitting out, you will or should secure an opening of sorts. You 
should make him present you with a fair target at which to aim. 


Most important of all, you will have borrowed some very considerable force from him 
to add to the power of your own counter. Remember, the whole secret of hard hitting 
lies in accurate timing, correct placement and mental application. 


Keep your awareness and balance to attack after drawing his commitment by exposing 
a target to him, by forcing (closing with or without immobilization, slow or fast) and 
by feinting an attack that he will try to counter. 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



CIRCLE WITH NO CIRCUMFERENCE 

Jeet Kune Do, ultimately, is not a matter of petty technique but of highly developed 
personal spirituality and physique. It is not a question of developing what has already 
been developed but of recovering what has been left behind. These things have been 
with us, in us, all the time and have never been lost or distorted except by our mis- 
guided manipulation of them. Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of technology but of 
spiritual insight and training. 


The tools are at an undifferentiated center of a circle that has no circumference, moving 
and yet not moving, in tension and yet relaxed, seeing everything happening and yet 
not at all anxious about its outcome, with nothing purposely designed, nothing con- 
sciously calculated, no anticipation, no expectation — in short, standing innocently like 
a baby and yet, with all the cunning, subterfuge and keen intelligence of a fully mature 
mind- 


To float in 
totality, to have 
no technique, 
is to have 
all technique. 


Leave sage hood behind and enter once more into ordinary humanity. After coming to 
understand the other side, come back and live on this side. After the cultivation of no- 
cultivation, one's thoughts continue to be detached from phenomenal things and one 
still remains amid the phenomenal, yet devoid of the phenomenal. 


Both the man and his surroundings are eliminated. Then, neither the man nor his sur- 
roundings are eliminated. Walk on! 


One can never be the master of his technical know ledge unless all his psychic hindr- 
ances are removed and he can keep his mind in a state of emptiness (fluidity), even 
purged of whatever technique he has obtained. 


With all the training thrown to the wind, with a mind perfectly unaware of its own work- 
ing, with the self vanishing nowhere, anybody knows where, the art of Jeet Kune Do 
attains its perfection. 


The more aware you become, the more you shed from day to day what you have 
learned so that your- mind is always fresh and un contaminated by previous conditioning. 


Learning techniques corresponds to an intellectual apprehension of the philosophies in 
Zen, and in both Zen and Jeet Kune Do, an intellectual proficiency does not cover the 
whole ground of the discipline. Both require the attainment of ultimate reality, which 
is the emptiness or the absolute. The latter transcends all modes of relativity. 


200 



In Jeet Kune Do, all technique is to be forgotten and the unconscious is to be left alone 
to handle the situation. The technique will assert its wonders automatically or spon- 
taneously, To float in totality, to have no technique, is to have all technique. 




The knowledge and skill you have achieved are meant to be “forgotten” so you can 
float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction. Learning is important but do not 
become its slave. Above all, do not harbor anything external and superfluous — the 
mind is primary. Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease 
when the mind is obsessed with it. 


The six diseases: 

1. The desire for victory. 

2. The desire to resort to technical cunning. 

3. The desire to display all that has been learned. 

4. The desire to awe the enemy. 

5. The desire to play the passive role. 

6. The desire to get rid of whatever disease one is affected by . 


“To desire” is an attachment. “To desire not to desire” is also an attachment. To be 
unattached then, means to be free at once from both statements, positive and negative. 
This is to be simultaneously both “yes” and “no,” which is intellectually absurd. 
However, not so in Zen. 


The spirit is 
no doubt the 
controlling agent 
of our existence. 


Nirvana is to he consciously unconscious or to be unconsciously conscious. That is its 
secret. The act is so direct and immediate that intellectualization finds no room to 
insert itself and cut the act to pieces. 


The spirit is no doubt the con trolling agent of our existence. This invisible seat controls 
every movement in whatever external situation arises. It is thus, to be extremely mobile, 
never “stopping” in any place at any moment. Preserve this state of spiritual freedom 
and non-attachment as soon as you assume the fighting stance. Be “master of the 
house.” 


11 is the ego that stands rigidly against influences from the outside, and it is this “ego 
rigidity” that makes it impossible for us to accept everything that confronts us. 


201 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Action is our 
relationship to 
everything* 


Art lives where absolute freedom is, because where it is not, there can be no 
creativity. 


Seek not the cultivated innocence of a clever mind that wants to be innocent, but have 
rather that state of innocence where there is no denial or acceptance and the mind just 
sees what is. 


All goals apart from the means are illusions. Becoming is a denial of being* 


By an error repeated throughout the ages, truth, becoming a law or a faith, places 
obstacles in the way of knowledge. Method, which is in its very substance ignorance, 
encloses truth within a vicious circle. We should break such a circle, not by seeking 
knowledge, but by discovering the cause of ignorance. 


Recollection and anticipation are fine qualities of consciousness that distinguish the 
human mind from that of the lower animals. But, when actions are directly related to 
the problem of life and death, these properties must be relinquished for the sake of 
fluidity of thought and lightning rapidity of action. 


Action is our relationship to everything. Action is not a matter of right and wrong. It 
is only when action is partial that there is a right and a wrong. 


Don’t let your attention be arrested! Transcend dualistic comprehension of a situation. 


Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe the techniques as though not 
observing. Utilize the art as a means to advance in the study of the Way. 


Prajna immovable doesn’t mean immovability or insensibility. It means that the mind is 
endowed with capabilities of infinite, instantaneous motion that knows no hindrance. 


Make the tools see. All movements come out of emptiness and the mind is the name 
given to this dynamic aspect of emptiness. It is straight, without ego-centered motiva- 
tion. The emptiness is sincerity, genuineness and straightforwardness, allowing nothing 
between itself and its movements. 

Jeet Kune Do exists in your not seeing me and my not seeing you, where yin and yang 
have not yet differentiated themselves. 


2Q2 


Jeet Kune Do dislikes partialization or localization. Totality can meet all situations. 


When the mind is fluid, the moon is in the stream where it is at once movable and 
immovable. The waters are in motion all the time, but the moon retains its serenity. 
The mind moves in response to ten thousand situations but remains ever the same. 


The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement 
does the universal rhythm manifest itself. To change with change is the changeless state. 
Nothingness cannot be confined; the softest thing cannot be snapped. 


Assume the pristine purity . In order to display your native activities to the utmost 
limit, remove all psychic obstruction. 


Would that we could at once strike with the eyes! In the long way from the eye through 
the arm to the fist, how much is lost! 


In the long way 
from the eye 
through the arm 
to the fist, how 
much is lost! 

Because one's self-consciousness or ego -consciousness is too conspicuously present over 
the entire range of his attention, it interferes with his free display of whatever pro- 
ficiency he has so far acquired or is going to acquire. One should remove this obtruding 
self or ego -consciousness and apply himself to the work to be done as if nothing par- 
ticular were taking place at the moment. 


To be of no-mind means to assume the everyday mind. 


The mind must be wide open to function freely in thought, A limited mind cannot 
think freely. 


A concentrated mind is not an attentive mind, but a mind that is in the state of aware- 
ness can concentrate. Awareness is never exclusive; it includes everything. 


Not being tense but ready, not thinking yet not dreaming, not being set but flexible — 
it is being wholly and- quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come. 


Sharpen the psychic power of seeing in order to act immediately in accordance with 
what you see. Seeing takes place with the inner mind. 



TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



When there is no 
center and no cir- 
cumference, then 
there is truth. 


The Jeet Kune Do man should be on the alert to meet the interchangeability of 
opposites. As soon as his mind “stops” with either of them, it loses its own fluidity. 
A JKD man should keep his mind always in the state of emptiness so that his freedom 
in action will never be obstructed. 


The abiding stage is the point where the mind hesitates to abide. It attaches itself to an 
object and stops the flow. 


The deluded mind is the mind affectively burdened by intellect. Thus, it cannot move 
without stopping and reflecting on itself. This obstructs its native fluidity. 


The wheel revolves when it is not too tightly attached to the axle. When the mind is 
tied up, it feels inhibited in every move it makes and nothing is accomplished with 
spontaneity. Its work will be of poor quality or it may never be finished at all. 


When the mind is tethered to a center, naturally it is not free. It can move only within 
the limits of that center. If one is isolated, he is dead; he is paralyzed within the 
fortress of his own ideas. 


When you are completely aware, there is no space for a conception, a scheme, “the 
opponent and I; M there is complete abandonment. 


When there is no obstruction, the JKD man's movements are like flashes of lightning or 
like the mirror reflecting images. 


When insubstantiality and substantiality are not set and defined, when there is no track 
to change what is, one has mastered the formless form. When there is clinging to form, 
when there is attachment of the mind, it is not the true path. When technique comes 
out of itself, that is the way. 


Jeet Kune Do is the art not founded on techniques or doctrine. It is just as you are . 


When there is no center and no circumference, then there is truth. When you freely 
express, you are the total style. 


1 


IT’S JUST A NAME 

There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of 
others and, thus, free ourselves from responsibility for acts which are prompted by our 
own questionable inclinations and impulses. Both the strong and the weak grasp at this 
alibi. The latter hide their malevolence under the virtue of obedience. The strong, too, 
claim absolution by proclaiming themselves the chosen instruments of a higher power — 
God, history, fate, nation or humanity. 


Similarly, we have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot 
derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most 
poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we 
imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know our- 
selves chiefly by hearsay. 


To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are. 
Whether this being different results in dissimulation or a real change of heart, it cannot 
be realized without self-awareness. Yet, it is remarkable that the very people who are 
most self-dissatisfied, who crave most for a new identity, have the least self-awareness. 
They have turned away from an unwanted self and, hence, never had a good look at it. 
The result is that most dissatisfied people can neither dissimulate nor attain a real 
change of heart. They are transparent and their unwanted qualities persist through all 
attempts at self -dramatization and self-transformation. It is the lack of self-awareness 
which renders us transparent. The soul that knows itself is opaque. 


The soul that 
knows itself is 
opaque. 


Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or 
our worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus, a feeling of utter unworthi- 
ness can be a source of courage. Everything seems possible when we are absolutely 
helpless or absolutely powerful — and both states stimulate our gullibility. 


Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us, while 
self-esteem is derived from the potentialities and achievements of self. We are proud 
when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self , a leader, a holy cause, a collective 
body or possessions. There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is sensitive and uncom- 
promising. The less promise and potentiality in the self, the more imperative is the need 
for pride. The core of pride is self -rejection. It is true, however, that when pride re- 
leases energies and serves as a spur to achievement, it can lead to a reconciliation with 
the self and the attainment of genuine self-esteem. 


Secretiveness can be a source of pride. It is a paradox that secretiveness plays the same 
role as boasting - both are engaged in the creation of a disguise. Boasting tries to create 

20b 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



if 

% 


Action is a high 
road to self-confi- 
dence and esteem- 


206 


an imaginary self, while secretiveness gives us the exhilarating feeling of being princes 
disguised in meekness. Of the two, secretiveness is the more difficult and effective. For 
the self -observant, boasting breeds self -con tempt. Yet, it is as Spinoza said: “Men 
govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues, and they can moderate their 
desires more than their words/’ Humility, however, is not verbal renunciation of pride 
but the substitution of pride for self-awareness and objectivity. Forced humility is 
false pride. 


A fateful process is set in motion when the individual is released “to the freedom of his 
own impotence” and left to justify his existence by his own efforts. The individual on 
his own, striving to realize himself and prove his worth, has created all that is great in 
literature, art, music, science and technology. This autonomous individual, also, when 
he can neither realize himself nor justify his existence by his own efforts, is a breeding 
ground of frustration and the seed of the convulsion that shakes our world to its 
foundations. 


The autonomous individual is stable only so long as he is possessed of self-esteem. The 
maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task which taxes all of the individuaPs power 
and inner resources. We have to prove our worth and justify our existence anew each 
day. When, for whatever reason, self-esteem is unattainable , the autonomous individual 
becomes a highly explosive entity. He turns away from an unpromising self and plunges 
into the pursuit of pride, the explosive substitute for self-esteem. All social disturbances 
and upheavals have their roots in crises of individual self-esteem, and the great endeavor 
in which the masses most readily unite is basically a search for pride. 


So, we acquire a sense of worth either by realizing our talents, or by keeping busy or by 
identity ing ourselves with something apart from us — be it a cause, a leader, a group, 
possessions or whatnot. The path of self-realization is the most difficult. It is taken 
only when other avenues to a sense of worth are more or less blocked. Men of talent 
have to be encouraged and goaded to engage in creative work. Their groans and laments 
echo through the ages. 


Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow 
toward it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible. The cultivation 
of the spirit is elusive and difficult and the tendency toward it is rarely spontaneous, 
whereas, the opportunities for action are many. 


The propensity to action is symptomatic of an inner unbalance. To be balanced is to be 
more or less at rest. Action is at the bottom — a swinging and flailing of the arms to 
regain one’s balance and keep afloat. And if it is true, as Napolean wrote to Carnot, 



"The art of government is not to let men grow stale , M then, it is an art of unbalancing. 
The crucial difference between a totalitarian regime and a free social order is, perhaps, 
in the methods of unbalancing by which their people are kept active and striving. 



We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. Yet, it sometimes seems that 
intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents as well. 


The times of drastic change are times of passions. We can never be fit and ready for 
that which is wholly new. We have to adjust ourselves and every radical adjustment is 
a crisis in self-esteem: we undergo a test; we have to prove ourselves. A population 
subjected to drastic change is, thus, a population of misfits, and misfits live and 
breathe in an atmosphere of passion. 


That we pursue something passionately does not always mean that we really want it or 
have a special aptitude for it. Often, the thing we pursue most passionately is but a 
substitute for the one thing we really want and cannot have. It is usually safe to predict 
that the fulfillment of an excessively cherished desire is not likely to still our nagging 
anxiety. In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued. 


Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his 
heart, for we can win a man's heart one day and lose it the next. But when we break a 
proud spirit, we achieve something that is final and absolute. 


In every passion- 
ate pursuit, the 
pursuit counts 
more than the 
object pursued. 


It is compassion rather than the principle of justice which can guard us against being 
unjust to our fellow men. 


It is doubtful whether there is such a thing as impulsive or natural tolerance. Tolerance 
requires an effort of thought and self-control. Acts of kindness, too, are rarely without 
deliberation and "thoughtfulness.” Thus, it seems that some artificiality, some posing 
and pretense, is inseparable from any act or attitude which involves a limitation of our 
appetites and selfishness. We ought to beware of people who do not think it necessary 
to pretend that they are good and decent. Lack of hypocrisy in such things hints at a 
capacity for a more depraved ruthlessness. Pretense is often an indispensable step in the 
attainment of genuineness. It is a form into which genuine inclinations flow and 
solidify. 


The control of our being is not unlike the combination of a safe. One turn of the knob 
rarely unlocks the safe; each advance and retreat is a step toward one’s final 
achievement. 


207 


i 


TAO OF JEET KUNE DO 



Jeet Kune Do is not to hurt, but is one of the avenues through which life opens its 
secret s to us. We can see through others only when we can see through ourselves and 
Jeet Kune Do is a step toward knowing oneself. 


Self-knowledge is the basis of Jeet Kune Do because it is effective, not only for the 
individual's martial art, but also for his life as a human being. 


Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter seeking knowledge or accumulating stylized 
pattern, but is discovering the cause of ignorance. 


If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from “this” or from “that,” then let the name 
of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don't fuss 
over it. 



\ 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

Vd like to express my sincere appreciation to Gil Johnson who has done an excellent job of organizing a mountain 
of material; to Geri Simon for her graphic design; to Dan l no Santo, Bruce*s assistant and close friend , and other JKD 
students who are dedicated to preserving and expanding Bruce's ideas , and to Ohara Publications t especially M. 
Uyehara and Dick Hennessy ; who out of long friendship and respect for Bruce , have faithfully reproduced his 
original notes and drawings. 

Linda Lee 


208 




Essay on Jeet Kune Do 



Bruce Lee 


1 






Three swordsmen sat down at a table in a crowded Japanese inn 

AND BEGAN TO MAKE LOUD COMMENTS ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBOR, HOPING TO 
GOAD HIM INTO A DUEL. THE MASTER SEEMED TO TAKE NO NOTICE OF THEM, 
BUT WHEN THEIR REMARKS BECAME RUDER AND MORE POINTED, HE RAISED 
HIS CHOPSTICKS AND, IN QUICK SNIPS, EFFORTLESSLY CAUGHT FOUR FLIES 
WINGS. AS HE SLOWLY LAID DOWN THE CHOPSTICKS, THE THREE 
SWORDSMEN HURRIEDLY LEFT THE ROOM. 

The story illustrates a GREAT difference between oriental and 

WESTERN THINKING. THE AVERAGE WESTERNER WOULD BE INTRIGUED BY 
SOMEONE’S ABILITY TO CATCH FLIES WITH CHOPSTICKS, AND WOULD 
PROBABLY SAY THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW GOOD HE IS IN 

COMBAT. But the oriental would realize that a man who has 

ATTAINED SUCH COMPLETE MASTERY OF AN ART REVEALS HIS PRESENCE OF 
MIND IN EVERY ACTION. THE STATE OF WHOLENESS AND IMPERTURBABILITY 
DEMONSTRATED BY THE MASTER INDICATED HIS MASTERY OF SELF. 

And so it is with martial arts. To the westerner the finger jabs, 

THE SIDE KICKS, AND THE BACK FIST, ETC, ARE TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION 
AND VIOLENCE WHICH IS, INDEED, ONE OF THEIR FUNCTIONS. BUT THE 
ORIENTAL BELIEVES THAT THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF SUCH TOOLS IS 
REVEALED WHEN THEY ARE SELF-DISTRACTED AND DESTROY GREED, FEAR, 
ANGER AND FOLLY. 

MANIPULATIVE SKILL IS NOT ORIENTAL’S GOAL. HE IS AIMING HIS KICKS AND 
BLOWS AT HIMSELF AND WHEN SUCCESSFUL, MAY EVEN SUCCEED IN 
KNOCKING HIMSELF OUT. AFTER YEARS OF TRAINING, HE HOPES TO ACHIEVE 
THAT VITAL LOOSENING AND EQUABILITY OF ALL POWERS WHICH IS WHAT 
THE THREE SWORDSMEN SAW IN THE MASTER. 

IN EVERY DAY LIFE THE MIND IS CAPABLE OF MOVING FROM ONE THOUGHT 
OR OBJECT TO ANOTHER — “BEING” MIND INSTEAD OF “HAVING” MIND. 
HOWEVER, WHEN FACE TO FACE WITH AN OPPONENT IN A DEADLY 
CONTEST, THE MIND TENDS TO STICK AND LOSES IT MOBILITY. STICK ABILITY 
OR STOPPAGE IS A PROBLEM THAT HAUNTS EVERY MARTIAL ARTIST. 

KWAN — IN (AVALOKITESVARA), THE GODDESS OF MERCY, IS SOMETIMES 
REPRESENTED WITH ONE THOUSAND ARMS, EACH HOLDING A DIFFERENT 
INSTRUMENT. IF HER MIND STOPS (999) WILL BE OF NO USE WHATEVER, IT IS 
ONLY BECAUSE OF HER MIND NOT STOPPING WITH THE USE OF ONE ARM, 

BUT MOVING FROM ONE INSTRUMENT TO ANOTHER, THAT ALL HER ARMS 
PROVE USEFUL WITH THE UTMOST DEGREE OF EFFICIENCY. THUS THE 
FIGURE IS MEANT TO DEMONSTRATE THAT, WHEN THE ULTIMATE TRUTH IS 
REALIZED EVEN AS MANY AS ONE THOUSAND ARMS ON ONE BODY MAY EACH 
BE SERVICE ABLE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. 

“Purposelessness”, “empty — mindedness” or “no art” are 

FREQUENT TERMS USED IN THE ORIENT TO DENOTE THE ULTIMATE 


2 



ACHIEVEMENT OF A MARTIAL ARTIST. ACCORDING TO ZEN, THE SPIRIT IS BY 
NATURE FORMLESS AND NO “ OBJECTS” ARE TO BE HARBORED IN IT. WHEN 
ANYTHING IS HARBORED THERE, PSYCHIC ENERGY IS DRAWN TOWARD IT, 

AND WHEN PSYCHIC ENERGY LOSES ITS BALANCE, ITS NATIVE ACTIVITY 
BECOMES CRAMPED AND IT NO LONGER FLOWS WITH THE STREAM, WHERE 
THE ENERGY IS TIPPED, THERE IS TOO MUCH OF IT IN ONE DIRECTION AND A 
SHORTAGE OF IT IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. WHERE THERE IS TOO MUCH 
ENERGY, IT OVERFLOWS AND CANNOT BE CONTROLLED. IN EITHER CASE, IT 
IS UNABLE TO COPE WITH EVER — CHANGING SITUATIONS. BUT WHEN THERE 
PREVAILS A STATE OF “PURPOSELESSNESS” (WHICH IS ALSO A STAGE OF 
FLUIDITY OR MINDLESSNESS) , THE SPIRIT HARBORS NOTHING IN IT, NOR IS IT 
TIPPED IN ONE DIRECTION; IT TRANSCENDS BOTH SUBJECT AND OBJECT; IT 
RESPONDS EMPTY — MINDEDLY TO WHATEVER IS HAPPENING. 

True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from 

MASTERY OF ONESELF — THE ABILITY, DEVELOPED THROUGH SELF — 
DISCIPLINE, TO BE CALM, FULLY AWARE, AND COMPLETELY IN TUNE WITH 
ONESELF AND THE SURROUNDINGS. THEN, AND ONLY THEN, CAN A PERSON 
KNOW HIMSELF. 


— Bruce Lee 


3